When I was young and living at home I was required to do a great number of chores around the house.
I have two siblings, one four years older than me and one five years younger than me. It seemed that I was always the right candidate to impose most jobs onto.
Truth be told, I really didn’t mind this for some reason. You see my oldest sister had a great social life and just wasn’t around to do chores. Then my youngest sister was told she was just too little and probably wouldn’t be able to do most things anyways. What I remember is my jobs consisted of things like vacuuming, dusting, picking up, mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, trimming the grass, weeding the garden and I guess whatever extra there was to be done. My mom did ordinary day-to-day things such as cooking. (I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen other than on Sundays when the adults would crash in the living room after a big Sunday dinner and my youngest sister and I had the pleasure of cleaning up the mess.) We cleaned up the kitchen and dining room, washed, dried, and put away the dishes. Now, this was an all-day event in our minds. We probably could have done it in half of the time if it weren’t for a lot of bickering that went on. I would wash the dishes and my sister would dry and put them away. This seemed to take forever and I resented this, as it was a Sunday and I wanted to do anything other than this awful task.
I actually loved it when everyone in my family would disappear. I would then pick up and clean (including doing a little of my decorating ideas if I could). I would get upset when they would come home and start making their usual untidy messes.
If anyone were to help me it would be my youngest sister, Judy. There were many winter nights when most people were sleeping that we would be out on the very sloped driveway shoveling the snow. We did manage to make it fun by sliding down on sleds when we were done even in the late evening hours. Did I ever mention that we are not your typical family? We seemed to function better in the later hours of the day when other people were probably in bed.
In the summer there was the lawn to mow, the garden to weed, and grass to remove from the sidewalk cracks. A funny story was my Dad always had us put putty, or some type of filler, in between the cracks in the driveway. One time he wondered what we had used. We said we had found it in the sandbox. Well, you got it, it was cat poop. Guess that job had to be done again!!!
My dad was a perfectionist but didn’t enjoy making things perfect. So, you guessed it, I was his go-to girl and was made to do things that he wanted to be done, but was not willing to do himself. On his summer vacation, he usually painted the house. This did not get me off the hook of doing something I wanted to do as I had to sit for the entire process on the bottom of the ladder so it wouldn’t fall. Talk about a boring and long day.
One time I was called home from my boyfriend’s house to paint the basement. Now, I don’t believe I had ever painted before, but I did paint the basement.
Being the go-to girl in my family probably taught me quite a few things about cleaning, etc., but now I have to figure out how to get the energy or ambition to do it.