Sunday, April 10, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - The Lovely Art of Seasonal Puttering

In spite of the lateness of spring this year... I awoke to snow on the ground again yesterday... I have been busy with Spring cleaning tasks.  All have been performed a little at a time, which makes the tasks enjoyable rather than another task to cross off the To Do list.

I have read that historically spring cleaning was done in our society due to how dirty the houses would get from using wood or coal heating all winter.  Which, could very well be true but I am always surprised by how thick the dust and cobwebs get from the furnace running during the cold weather months, too. 

I can no longer do the all day cleanings I once enjoyed but I can eliminate dirt, grime, and dust an hour or so at a time over a week or two.  Yesterday, I dusted and took Method wood polish to most of the living room furniture while watching an episode of a television show on the TV hooked up to the antennae in that room.

Tomorrow, I plan to dust and polish the dining area and family room furniture.  Tuesday will be the day to take lemon oil polish to the dining table in preparation for Easter Dinner, which this year will be held on Good Friday.  

There is something about the look and aromas of a well cleaned house this time of year that make me happy.  Perhaps it is a carry over from Passover, which this year will overlap the Christian Holy Week.  I always like to ponder that the Last Supper was the Passover Seder for Jesus and the apostles.

I can't remember who it was, perhaps Alexandra Stoddard in her lovely books, that used to talk about the art of puttering in our homemaking tasks.  It is the opposite of the crazed cleaning I have done before when expecting company.  One of benefits living with illness for over twenty years has taught me is to slow down when accomplishing anything at all.

It may seem like decorating and cleaning by puttering is a silly subject when everything in the world is so serious right now.  However, that is exactly why I need it this year more than ever.  It makes me feel like I have control over something in this world, even if it is only in my home.  I need to clean and putter and make my world lovely.

Our small home is my favorite artistic canvas since it is where we spend most of our time.  I'm always thinking of ways to add beauty and peace on a budget.  Whether looking through a thrift store, my favorite "primitive decorating" gift shop, or the antique mall... I always have an area of the house that needs a little help in the back of my mind.

Recently my husband had an appointment in town and I had to accompany him to sign our tax forms at the "tax place".  Since we were on that side of town, I asked for just ten minutes to pop into my favorite shop while he stayed in the van listening to music on K-Love. 

This store is where I purchase most small decorations for they have the best seasonal offerings at great prices.  I knew what I wanted to buy, a couple sprigs of artificial summer wild flowers to put in a beautiful thrifted pitcher. These seasonal artificial (but real looking) flowers they sell have provided such beauty for autumn and Christmas, too.  They are a budget minded way of adding a floral touch without the high cost of artificial bouquets.

I was very pleased with the way the two sprigs of spring wildflowers looked in the vase but I wasn't surprised.  I had been thinking of those artificial wildflowers since the store first carried them last year.  It wasn't until I decided to change out what was in the thrifted pitcher that I thought of them again.  

Last week I also removed and put away quite a few items that were displayed in the kitchen.  I add layers in the autumn and remove them in spring. I took the small wreath off the hook it hangs from on my kitchen window in the cold weather months, a sure sign that the trees and daffodils are beginning to bud and it won't be long before the scene through my kitchen window will be nice to look at once again.

I removed a few items from the windowsill to make it less cluttered.  I like the clutter in winter, not so much when the sun is beginning to shine through the kitchen window again.  Plants were moved to new places in the house and even a couple of pieces of artwork were exchanged.  It was time for something fresh and new.

The hardest part of the seasonal puttering comes when I must decide what to store away until the next season and what to send on to Goodwill.  Perhaps I need to read one of Marie Kondo's books again?  Do I really love this object, does it make me happy... or do I just kinda' like it?  

I will finish most of my spring cleaning this week but my decorating by puttering will continue as the spirit moves (so to speak).  Soon, attention will be needed on the porch once it is safe to put some real flowers in pots there.  The real joy of puttering is in the slowness of it all, without the need to hurry or finish a project by a specific date.

There are still big projects once in awhile that make me tired and wear me out.  They are a necessary part of home ownership.  But it is the puttering kind of projects that bring joy and peace in this dark world.  

Perhaps it is time to put some music in the CD player that I moved to the kitchen recently and wash dishes while listening to favorite music fill the room.  Frank?  Dean?  One of the Bobbys?  Hmmm... John Denver?  Something else to ponder.

ImageThis photo was taken many years ago but the artificial flowers look exactly the same when I used them as a decoration last week.


Unknown said...

Love your Old Country Roses tea set! My favorite.

Deanna Rabe said...

Brenda, I love to make seasonal changes in my home, too! I call it puttering as well.

I'm preparing for my daughter to arrive home tomorrow for Easter Break, and she's bringing a friend from school with her. I'll give the bathroom an extra cleaning today, and freshen up her room, dusting, and vacuuming.

I'm glad you'll get to celebrate with your loved ones this week!

Agent X, not said...

One of my fav posts to date, and a lovely way to describe not just cleaning, but a smart way to approach life. Thanks for sharing. You made my day brighter, and my chores less full of guilt! :)

Alison said...

Lovely post! With the current global not so funny circus going on, its comforting to have small daily reminders that there is some surety in Life. Those geraniums in your header are one of my favourite flowers! I'm looking forward to having a cheerful pot or two of them on my kitchen windowsill soon.

Peggy said...

Yes, that was Alexandra Stoddard who wrote about puttering...something I need to do more of myself.