A Clean Sweep With An Old Broom

For the Dowager Duchess’s EIGHTY-SEVENTH birthday Wednesday, I volunteered to clean the balcony, pull up the 25-year-old outdoor carpet, and wash the windows while San Geraldo and Judy went out for morning coffee without me. Since The Kid Brother was going to be here with me, I volunteered him, too. However, he didn’t hesitate. He threw on some rubber gloves, cleaned windows, and scrubbed railings before I finally told him to stop. He was well-dressed, showered, and shaved. He hadn’t come over expecting to do manual labor. So I finished and then pulled up the carpet myself. A filthy job. The underside of the carpet left a mess behind that had to be swept. I used a broad, old push-broom that had been sitting out on the balcony for 49 years. Fourth push and snap! The long wooden handle split apart near the base. I bent low and tried to use it anyway, but I couldn’t get much leverage and was worried about splinters.

THE OLD BROOM BITES THE DUST.

The Dowager Duchess poked her head outside to check progress (I had sent her inside earlier because of the dirt and dust). I asked her if she had another broom. She did, and retrieved it from the kitchen. When she handed it to me, she said, “Don’t worry if this one breaks. I bought it from the Fuller Brush man when we moved to Van Siclen Avenue,” (years before I was born).

THE REPLACEMENT BROOM… A RELIC.

It seems I had broken the new broom. After 63 years, he handle of the Van Siclen Avenue broom has turned to petrified wood. It didn’t snap during use and is now back in the broom closet… for another 63 years.

SOME OF THE VIEWS FROM THE NEWLY CLEAN BALCONY.
YOU CAN’T SEE THE NEW YORK SKYLINE FROM THIS SIDE OF THE BUILDING.
BUT THEN YOU CAN’T SEE THE OCEAN FROM THE OTHER SIDE.
DOWN BELOW.
ACROSS THE STREET.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

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