What was it that blew through here earlier last week? Ah, yes, spring is in the air and we’re all sneezing our heads off.

Since spring is near, there are so many things we need to get done.

Top on the “to do” list is spring cleaning, and that includes the yard and garden, which will lead to more sneezing due to the allergens in the air. So back to spring cleaning inside. If you are or were active-duty military, spring usually is the time to get ready for the summer change of duty station.

When you’re moving overseas, spring is heavy cleaning time. Not only do you have the normal “end of winter” clean up, but you also have to start making the “get rid of it, put it in storage, or ship it with you” decisions.

Back in 1963, we made a move to France with three small children and, of course, their needs were primary. We probably took more clothes and other items for the children than we did for ourselves.

Well, uniforms, of course, were necessary but other personal items were cut back. Deciding what needed to be stored as far as household goods were concerned was probably the most difficult.

Do we need to take “this”? Well, what about “that”? Should we really ship the television? What if it doesn’t work there? Do we have enough kitchen stuff and bedding?

The questions went on and on until the movers showed up at the door. We took a lot, we stored a lot, and we really didn’t miss anything. What we left behind after all those decisions was still there when we returned stateside.

And then the choice of what to keep started all over again.

Now, when you are staying stateside, the decisions are a bit different. You still had a weight allowance, but you didn’t have to be concerned about putting things in storage. You just had to get rid of junk so you could move what meant something to you and the things you needed to set up housekeeping again in another city or post.

We moved 16 times in my husband’s military career, the last 10 years of which were spent at Fort Hood. So, in effect, we moved 15 times in 19 years, plus one local move from city to countryside when we retired here. During those years, the children grew up, moved on and didn’t take their “stuff” with them. So spring cleaning, as each one left, meant cleaning out the items they left behind.

But now we’re in retirement. Spring cleaning means just that — cleaning! No more getting ready to pack up and ship. No more getting rid of the items piling up.

But maybe it would be good to get rid of some of the piles just as if it were moving time. Doing that is so much a part of our inner self that it almost is still automatic.

Housework is never ending, whether you’re moving or staying.

As they say, “The nice thing about housework is that it never goes away. So go ahead and read a book or take a shower, and it will be waiting when you’re ready.”

Joyce Mayer is the senior citizens recreation program director for Harker Heights.

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