by Jodi Lea Stewart

(See Original Article)


cherry treeSpring is about to erupt with an outbreak of green buds, insanely happy twittering birds and students with a new lift in their walk…it’s call the Spring Break Trot.

This time of year also seems synonymous with the words “spring cleaning,” that time when we attack every inch of our lives with renewed determination and generally air out the cobwebs.

Spring House Cleaning

My hubby Mark’s idea of spring cleaning, or otherwise, is to throw all the out-of-place things in a closet, under the bed or in layers in drawers. His redemption comes from his incredible speed. He can take an upside-down room and it “look” guest-ready in nearly no time.

I, on the other hand, can’t stand to clean a room without attacking the drawers, closets and everything else. So, spring or fall cleaning usually takes about 10-13 days.

Mark thinks I am nuts to suck out the dust-germies behind drawers with a shop vac, pull the curtains down, scrub walls and baseboards, etc. No cabinet or drawer or closet is off-limits when I attack with my cleaning ensemble.

When we finally wind up with a large stack of very odd items in the middle of the floor, Mark and I look at each other and head for our teen-age son’s room. Nothing is ever lost (or found) in Jason’s room. We’ve learned to open his door carefully, hum a few bars from Oh Say, Can You See? And just toss.

Sooner or later, the top stuff seeps and creeps down into the other layers on Jason’s floor, forcing the bottom layer to ram up through the top layers with a sort of Bloop! sound. Late at night, the sound echoes throughout the house.

Bloop! Bloop! One can imagine Jason’s ninth-grade soccer shoe triumphantly poking out of the rubble—or his sixth-grade science project.

It’s gravity and physics and a touch of magic, and we just don’t question it.

Brain Cleaning

How can one face the beaches of the world this summer without a therapeutic brain drain now? I suggest that all with a vision for excellence air out their frontal and temporal lobes, as well as their cerebellums.

This cleansing can be accomplished in only one way and can be done in or out of town: You must lollygag on ocean/lake front, your living-room couch or on the patio in a hammock. You must not think any deeper than, “What shall I eat next…Wonder what’s on the tube…Where am I going tonight that will be totally frivolous and silly but fun…I wonder what folks are doing in Acapulco right now?…”

Though this exercise may be difficult at first, the rewards are stunning. Start slowly by keeping your books or briefcase nearby for the first few days. When you are strong enough, fling them anywhere and step over them the rest of spring break.

Just remember…a drained brain is a happy brain.


—The Collegian, Fort Worth, Texas, March 3, 1994—