Inspect What He Expected

cleaning supplies laying on wooden background

Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…


Click the play button to listen to Francis Pass tell this story.

When I was young, spring cleaning at the Pass house was an all-day job.

Spring cleaning meant deep cleaning. Every crumb, every cobweb, and every speck of dust didn’t stand a chance.

My father would give us our assignments. My mother worked at Holden Hospital in Carbondale. So dad was responsible for delegating a majority of the chores around the house.

Dad liked everything nice and clean.

We’d put a cloth over a soft brush broom and run it along where the wall met the ceiling.

We’d sweep our beautiful hardwood floors and wash down all the baseboards and trim.

Dad would have us washing the windows, window seals, and the window screens, also.

I remember wiping down every piece of furniture. We’d spray the tops of the hutch and cabinets with lemon Pledge. I can still smell it now.

And we knew better than to cut corners, because you better believe dad would give it the ol’ white glove treatment.

Our father would inspect what he expected.

He’d run a tea towel over everything we cleaned. If it was dirty, it was back to work.

That was our life. Spic and span.

I love spring cleaning. I love looking at the world through a clean window. I love a neat, tidy house. In short, I suppose you could say I love order.

What Dad taught me during those epic spring-cleaning sessions has served me well throughout my entire life. He taught me to pay attention to detail. That’s a lesson that likely saved my life.

Because when you’re deep in the dark Vietnam jungle, it’s good to spot the things that are out of place.

These days, I’m doing my darndest to teach these same lessons to my grandchildren. Every now and then, they come to the office to dust the collectibles and artifacts displayed on the top of my cabinet.

And they know not to cut corners, too. Because you can bet I’m gonna give it the ol’ white glove treatment.

Thanks, dad.

Be well. Stay well. Thanks for readin’...

Francis Pass

P.S. – Remember the old Electrolux vacuum cleaners with all the attachments. Believe it or not, my dad would use it to paint the Christmas tree. A vacuum cleaner that doubled as a paint gun. They don’t make ‘em like they used to.