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Judy Spooner: First warm days drive need to clean

On the first nice day of spring, when I was a lass shortly after the Spanish-American War, my mother would announce that it was time for "spring cleaning."

The concept is obscure to the current generation, but it included children participating in washing windows, airing mattresses outside, cleaning cupboards, washing rugs and mandates that children clean closets and make neat piles of clothes that no longer fit to go to the Salvation Army.

I can't ignore my past. When I open windows on the first warm day of spring, I'm compelled to clean.

I could lie down and take a nap until the urge goes away, but that would not organize the drawers in the bathroom.

Judy's Law: The bandage you want will not be in the drawer just as the correct screw will not be in the toolbox.

I have proof.

Husband Gary needed a bandage tonight and brought me one that is for knuckles. You need a waterproof one so it won't get wet when you wash your hands, I told him.

"I know, but I couldn't find one," he said.

When you empty bathroom drawers, you'll find at least three small tubes of antibiotic ointment that's applied to cuts before bandages go on.

The reason there are at least three tubes is that they go into hiding when they notice you are searching for bandages.

When the antibiotic ointment tubes can't find hiding places, they morph into other items of similar size.

I thought I had found a tube of antibiotic ointment, but when I held it up, it was a tube of travel-size toothpaste. I put it back and found another tube, which was a purse-size tube of hand cream.

When you can't find the antibiotic ointment, you buy another tube, which is the reason I found four tubes of the stuff when I cleaned the drawers.

If anyone at our home has an allergic reaction, I have it covered. Some of the Benadryl tablets had escaped from the boxes they came in. When I couldn't find the capsules during the past year, I bought another package.

There was a problem with some of the other package escapees. I found a full sheet of pills encased in plastic and foil with no clues as to what malady they can relieve.

There is a rule for cotton-tipped swabs that are usually stored in bathroom drawers. Buy the Q-Tip brand. I bought generic once. There were complaints about tip separations.

Foot-related items, such as corn pads, were abundant in the drawer. I bound them together with a rubber band, but I don't expect that solution to last.

Writers use the words "Band-Aid" to mean a quick fix that doesn't address a problem long term.

My quick fix was to put all of the bandages into a plastic bag, but somehow, I knew it was a futile gesture.

"Where are the Band-Aids?" asked daughter Margie a day later.

"In a plastic bag in the bathroom drawer," I yelled from the kitchen.

"And the antibiotic ointment?" she said.

"Good luck with that," I said.