I’m extremely grateful for all the help I’ve received from my sisters. I have 2 sisters and 8 sisters-in-law. To keep it simple, I’ll refer to them all as "sisters."
I like the idea that one of my sisters gave me concerning housework. She said she "top-cleans."
What does that mean? Well, she claims that you don’t need to check the "three Cs" every week. There is much more fun in life than keeping everything spotless and in top shape.
Mind you she says, you have to do some serious housecleaning in spring and fall, so that the rest of the year you can get away with "top cleaning."
Is it really necessary to push the furniture around every other day so you can vacuum the rug below it? Must the cupboards be rearranged every week so you can wipe underneath where the dishes stood? And thank goodness for Swiffers. If you don’t know what a Swiffer is, count yourself lucky! You are probably one of the fortunate ones who never has to do a lick of cleaning anyhow.
Another idea I got from a sister is about skin-care. She claims you must apply sun-screen to your face every day, summer and winter.
That, coupled with moisturizing cream at night, will keep the skin wrinkle-free.
I’m mindful of the story of a young girl who asked her grandmother, "How old are you, anyhow?"
When told that she was old, the little girl said, "No! That’s untrue!"
Grandma asked for a reason and the little girl said, "You have no cracks in your cheeks!"
Maybe her grandma had used sunscreen on her face all summer and winter. If only I’d heard about this sunscreen method 40 years ago. (And my sister has really beautiful skin.)
She also tells me that she always wears an apron while cooking. I’ve discovered it’s a lot easier to wash two aprons than six blouses messed up during the mixing and mashing of cooking.
She has an interesting explanation for people gaining weight. She said that, at Christmas, people naturally overeat, perhaps gaining five pounds. Nothing is done about it,and then the same thing happens at Easter and Thanksgiving. This amounts to 15 pounds a year that seem inexplicable unless you stop and analyze her theory and attack that weight gain with sensible eating.
Another sister remarked, "It’s amazing how everyone is so nice after I’ve eaten!"
A simple remark, yet how profound.
My mother-in-law told me that the beginning of a party demands that everyone, after being welcomed, must have something to drink. It’s not necessary that it be alcoholic. Pop, juice, coffee or tea — it all helps to make everyone feel good.
Don’t you wish you had had my sisters, too?
Oh yes! What are the three Cs?
They are Curtains, Cupboards and Corners. Keep happy.
Bertha Klassen is a community correspondent for Elmwood.