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Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Spring Is In The Air

            When I first learned that spring was the central theme for this blog tour, my mind immediately reverted back to memories of my childhood. I grew up in the ‘country’, in a small rural town in Louisiana, where wood-framed houses lined one side of the two-lane highway and the other side was flanked by the levee that protects residents from the gushing waters of the Mighty Mississippi River. This was during the time (and I’m about to tell my age, although I really don’t mind because I believe it’s a blessing each morning the Lord allows me to wake up :)) before all the extra amenities that today’s kids take for granted.
            I’m talking pre-electric/gas clothes dryers, pre all the modern amenities and technology of today... So imagine the horror and the ‘ah mans’ released when Mom announced it was time for Spring cleaning. Now picture this - our little house held myself, my parents and my 12 siblings. And in our house, spring cleaning meant taking the dark, heavy curtains down, washing them, hanging them on an outside clothes line, waiting for them to dry in the crisp spring air, taking them down and ironing them before packing and retiring them until next winter. In addition to doing this, winter clothing had to be removed from closets and drawers and packed and stored, too, to make room for spring clothing. As I mentioned, this was no easy feat with having to do this for myself and 12 other children. (Hmm, now that I think about it, I don’t remember any of my 8 brothers having to partake in any of these chores, only us 5 girls.) Then boxes had to be unpacked with the spring things.
            Now, don’t you for one second think my momma allowed us to take out spring curtains and just hang them up. No Sir-ee! Those curtains had to be washed, lined dried and ironed before hanging them up. And while this was happening, windows had to be washed and cleaned, too. You don’t think my momma would allow us to hang fresh curtains on dirty windows. NOT! Needless to say, spring cleaning was not a one-day affair.
            But looking back, and as tedious as these chores were, I would give anything to have at least one more moment with my mom and her assigning chores to me and my sisters. Do I carry on this tradition of spring cleaning, you ask? NOT! While I cherish the memories created back then, I am not one to sweat the small stuff, and this to me is small stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I do my share of cleaning and keeping my house organized, but I do it at my leisure. I’m retired from my 9 - 5, so when the urge strikes me to clean, I clean, be it spring, winter, summer or fall. What say you? Do you do spring cleaning?
            And while we’re on the subject of spring cleaning, may I recommend spring cleaning of some of your old reading material on your eReaders and add some new reading material. And while I’m making suggestions :), may I suggest my ebook, Sacrifices In The name of Love. It is a contemporary, IR about two teens who will learn that their actions dictate painful consequences and sacrifices be made under the guise of love. 

Vanessa Alexander Johnson, a native Louisianan, began writing in 1995. Her first self-published book titled, When Death Comes a Knockin’ (Book Haven Publishing, March 2005, ISBN 1-4116-2470-X), is a self-help, inspirational book about loss and grief. Her second book, Sacrifices In The Name of Love is available as an ebook through Red Rose Publishing, 6/3/2010, ISBN:978-1-60435-712-7). Her third release, Uncommon Bond will be available soon through Red Rose Publishing as well.


Maria said...

Wow...a family with 12 really don't hear of that too much these days. I don't do "Spring" cleaning but like you clean throughout the year- though it is easier to clean windows during the spring,summer and fall months. Your book looks interesting, will have to look it up.


JoanneR said...

My father grew up in a family with 13 kids, so I have heard all about how tough that can be. I personally don't really do the kind of spring cleaning you are referring to, but I do a little of it.
Your book plot sounds really good. Will definitely put it on my TBR list.

Jean P said...

I grew up in a household where we did spring cleaning somewhat like what your family did, though not with as many children. Now like you I tend to clean year round. Your book sound interesting, look forward to reading it.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Tammy Doherty said...

I love your "voice" in this post Vanessa - I can hear that wonderful Southern dialect! Almost makes me wish I grew up with you...almost, 'cause I don't like cleaning at all, any time of the year! I do it, of course. Spring cleaning for me is mostly washing the windows - a good excuse to open them and let in the blissful spring air (and chase out the horrible winter germs!).

Best wishes for your current book and the upcoming release.

mail_tammydoherty at charter dot net

Rebekah E. said...

We are starting our spring cleaning right now and I'm already tired of it. I tend to do a spring and a fall cleaning. Things just like to collect in my house.


Karen H in NC said...

Since I live alone, my house doesn't really get that dirty because I clean as I go. But, I'm looking over my books to sell shelves and there's a lot there that have been there for quite awhile. I'm thinking about donating those books to the Senior Center near my house.

kkhaas at bellsouth dot net

Faith said...

12 siblings? Wow! That's almost as big as my grandpa's family. There were 19 kids, but great grandpa was married twice, so he started all over again with his second wife, lol.


Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Yes, 12 kids + me = 13...It was/is a lot of fun when we were/are together...I surely miss those times. We recently lost my oldest brother to cancer (01/11/11). So those times and memories are precious to me. Thanks to everyone for dropping by. Have a blessed day.

Peggy said...

How I enjoyed your stroll back through the rigors of spring cleaning time and how I understood your desires for one more moment with Mama. This was beautiful. Thank you and having read your books I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a good inspiring read.
Peggy Eldridge-Love

cheryl c said...

I am retired now, too, so my "spring" cleaning is spread out over the whole year. I like spreading it out because I really hate housework! LOL
castings at mindspring dot com

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Thanks Ms. Peggy, for your kind words, your thoughtfulness, your support, always :)

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

So do I, Cheryl...back then mom made us dust EVERY DAY! I hate it with a passion. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Gabby said...

Wow, 12 kids? I can't imagine having that many brothers and sisters I mean there are times when I can barely handle the two little brothers that have now. I don't know how you did it.

Also both my mom and dad were part of six kid families and I'm still not sure how they handled it.

As for your question? No we don't do spring cleaning in our house, every once in awhile though I get an odd urge to clean. Mostly doing dishes and a little dusting but that's about it for me.

Gabby said...

Oh I forgot my email address!

Judy said...

As I get older, do not do as much spring cleaning as I use to:) I really use to enjoy it, but living in the South I am not closed in as much as many of the Northerners.

I can't imagine 12 siblings!! I have one brother. I bet you have had and still have alot of good times when you get together.


booklover0226 said...

Every spring, my grandmother made my cousin and I untangle the ivy which had grown wild. And you better not break off a vine, either! LOL

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Tamara said...

We didn't do that kind of Spring cleaning when I was young that I remember. I do air out the house and go through it in the spring now though.

Jennifer Shirk said...

We didn't do that kind of spring cleaning growing up but I can appreciate what a job that must have been and how rewarding to have a house all fresh again from all those kids. :)

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Yes we do, Judy. I'm in the south as well, just west of New Orleans...Thanks for stopping by and sharing your spring traditions.

Mickie said...

Oh, Vee,

You had me laughing and tearing at the same time. As a fellow Louisiana Lady beside the Mighty Mississippi, I did my share of Spring cleaning, too. And know what? I’m better for the experience.

Loved what you shared.

Mickie Sherwood

Louisiana Lady

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Thanks Mickie... :)

Kytaira said...

My dad came from a family of 18 kids. Nearly all of the family lived in the same area so we spent alot of time with the cousins.

Not so much time with the cleaning! That's ok though because I can still relate to the family working together. We did plenty of field work.

I followed the link over to amazon and read the reviews. This sounds like a great read. Very emotional.

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Thanks for stopping by Kytaira...I hope you decide to check it out. If you do, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Have a blessed evening, everyone.

Kym said...

My spring cleaning gets done as early as possible . Weather breaks and Im in the garden :)

I always dreamt of a large family..i was one of 7, but I only could afford 2.


Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Hey Kym,
Thanks for stopping by. I never wanted more than 3, and that's what I had, although I lost my middle child in 1994. Continued blessings.

DL Thomas said...

Ohhh...did Spring Cleaning have to come up?! LOL

Now I feel guilty...

Oh Well...done feeling guilty I can get back to

I grew up in a mid-sized family (I had 5 siblings). Yes, we did the Spring cleaning every year. I don't miss doing it but like you, I love the memories.


Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Sorry for bringing Spring cleaning up, Deb. But you know what they say, if not now, when! Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed day.

Carol Burge said...

I'm one of four girls (no brothers), so as you can see, I didn't come from a large family (although my dh came from a family of twelve) so I do have a little bit of an idea what that's like.

We definitely didn't do spring cleaning as throughly as your family, but we did a little cleaning and organizing. Changed out the winter clothes for the spring/summer clothes, washed windows and cuttains (with a modern washer/dryer), things like that. We did what ever needed doing. I pretty much do like my mother did. Do what ever needs doing. :)

Best of luck with Sacrifices In The Name of Love, and all of your other books!


Terra Pennington said...

Wow 12 sisters and brothers. I grow up as an only child and would have love to have had a sister or brother. Well maybe not. With the way my two fight it may not.


EdgesAngel23 said...

Wow! 12 brothers and sisters? I thought having one little brother and 4 older sisters was bad! My dad was one of 11 though and my friend's mom is one of 16!
Happy Spring!
Ashley A

Sarita said...

Loved your post, thank you. You touched my heart.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

12 kids?! That would be awesome! Large families mean there's always someone to have fun with