Friday, 20 March 2020 16:10

COLUMN: It's spring cleaning time again

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COLUMN: It's spring cleaning time again J.A. Bolton

Most people who live in our great country have both winter and summer clothes. The winter weather calls for heavier clothing, while our hot summers call for lighter clothes. Folks shovel snow in the winter and bathe at the beach in the summer months.

Between these two major seasons, we have a short period of fall and spring weather. It’s during these seasons of time we prepare for the major ones to come.

Last week our national and state governments proclaimed a state of emergency for the COVID-19 virus. To slow down the speed of the disease, folks were asked to have the least amount of contact with their fellow man and to thoroughly wash your hands.

To oblige the authorities, I thought this would be a good time to stay at home and do a little spring cleaning. Yessir, I’ve got a lot to do, such as putting my hunting clothes, heavy coats, and boots away. I need to raise all the windows in the house and let it air out like old folks used to do. Also included on my list to get done is to pressure-wash my house and outbuildings, mow the yard, and clean out my outbuilding.

When you go to as many estate sales as we do, you accumulate lots of stuff. I certainly don’t need anymore, but it seems if I see something I like at a good price, I usually buy it. I’ll bet over the years I’ve bought 75 rod and reels, a dozen tackle boxes, camping equipment, and enough tools to keep up a maintenance department.

Most of the stuff we can’t use in the house goes straight to one of my outbuildings. Why, I’ve got stuff stacked across the rafters, hanging on nails, lining the shelves of several large racks, stuff piled on the floor, and even stuff under the building. 

Folks ask, “How in the world do you find anything in these buildings?”

Why, I say, “I just follow the path in the middle and let my mind and eyes guide me right to where it’s at.”

Last fall I decided it was time to clean out and reorganize one of my outbuildings. Why, I carried a pickup truck load to the dump, another I donated to Habitat, and the rest I thought I might be a needin’ in the next 10 years, I just kept.

I use my grandparents’ old house as sort of a man cave. There ain’t nothin’ of much value in the house, but most everything brings back a memory to me. I can walk through the house and usually find something to write a story about.

The old pictures on the wall seem to talk to me and I find real comfort in just looking at them. The gun rack nailed to the wall still holds some of my childhood rod and reels by the names of Johnson Century and Zebco 33. Nailed above the gun rack on a wooden plaque my daughter gave me is written “Live, Love and Laugh.” Below the gun rack hangs a picture of a sweet beagle hound, and dangling off the rack is my dad’s old metal fish stringer.

On the back porch of my grandparents’ house is where I keep my farmers market stuff. Why, you’ll find produce baskets, five-gallon buckets, pans, all types of pasteboard shipping boxes, and maybe an old Irish 'tater that rolled behind the boxes and sprouted.

As you enter the front door, there beside the door stands a wooden coat rack my dad made back in the ‘50s while he was working at Carolina Standard. Hanging on the coat rack is my granddaddy’s felt hat along with several of my old weathered canvas hunting caps. Also, on one side of the rack, hangs what’s left of a metal World War I doughboy helmet. I don’t know the story behind the helmet, but I just know the soldier who wore it probably paid a heavy price for our freedom.

Seems I got a little strayed away from my spring cleaning list. Even when my daughter comes down and spends the night at my man cave, there is always something different hanging on the walls. She just says, “What am I going to do with all this stuff when you die?”

 Seems to me, I’m just going to have myself a pre-death sale or do a lot of spring cleaning; one or the other.

J.A. Bolton is the author of “Just Passing Time” and co-author of “Just Passing Time Together.” He is also a member of the Anson County Writers Club, the Anson and Richmond County Historical Societies, the N.C. Storytelling Guild and the Story Spinners of Laurinburg. Contact him at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..