Monday, September 29, 2008

Labour Of Love

I cleaned the two corridor windows and hung the drapes on both.

Then changed the sofa cushion covers... vacuumed the house and mopped the living and dinning rooms. Scrubbed away the stains off the walls and more scrubbing off stubborn stains on the laminated floors.

The scrubbing continued on the white lacquer sofa and dining tables legs to reveal clean and almost like brand new tables.

Spread the newly bought light yellow carpet and set the sofa set nicely. Changed the lamp shade on the side table after cleaning the ceramic stand. Set the deck-phone nicely on it after giving it a thorough cleaning too.

Cut the thick plastic cover to size, spread the newly bought square table cloth on the glass dining table and then placed the protective plastic cover on top.

The glass display cabinet took a long time to clean. Not the cabinet itself, but the many nick-knacks in it that were collected throughout the years. Putting the nick-knacks back was a challenge altogether.

A little artistic touch was needed to make the displays looked uncluttered. Yikes! Glad that was over.

The glass flowers... oh those delicate glass flowers had to be cleaned with dish washing soap to rid off the stubborn dust especially in the unreachable corners. Then came the flower arrangement time. That required a lot of artistic talent which I had very little to help me pull it off. It was a mess but acceptable in the end. At least that is what I think of it.

All the above spring cleaning was done by me alone... at my parents' place in preparations for this Wednesday's Hari Raya celebrations or Aidilfitri come the month of Syawal. It is a public holiday in Singapore.

I set off from home just after 10:00AM today.

Took leave off work for two days - Monday and Tuesday, and combined with the weekend, I have 4 whole days to do more spring cleaning at home as well as dedicate a day to help clean my parents' home as well... a yearly ritual for me and Wifey.

This year, Wifey still had some left-over stuff to do in our home, so I had to use all the elbow grease I had left after the two days cleaning our own home.

At age 82, Dad is recovering from a bout of cough and flu, so he is still feeling groggy now an then. Climbing up ladders to clean high reaching places was out of the question. Mom 75, is not so mobile without reaching for furniture or the wall for support when walking.

Alone, I took the whole day to clean their 3-room flat.

Started cleaning just before 11:00AM and finally finished just after 10:00PM. A whole drum of elbow grease indeed. It was tougher when all those activities require physical endurance while fasting from dawn till dusk... but I survived and my parents' home looked spotless!

Bought food for breaking fast just after 6:00PM from the void-deck coffee shop a few blocks away. Nothing tasted better than glasses after glasses of ice-cold Bandung drink that Mom made.

Imagine the poor and homeless here and throughout the world... with no guarantee of food for their next meal, no nice tasting drink or even clean water to quench the thirst, one of the many aspects of fasting has taught one to be patient and actually feel the plight of the disadvantaged... one begin to appreciate the things one is blessed with.

Come Wednesday, 1st October 2008, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the time for all Muslims across the world to celebration our triumph over fasting and abstaining from negative human desires during the month of Ramadan.

The bus ride home from Woodlands and back to Tampines on board the double-decker Service 168 was as pleasent as the ride to my parents' home. The 40-minute journey on the expressways - Tampines or TPE and Seletar or SLE expressways was quiet and soothing as always.

Seeing my parents again on Hari Raya day together with my siblings congregating at their home right after Aidilfitri morning prayers gets me all so excited... just thinking about it!


  1. Thanks for once again transporting me into a way of life totally unknown to me before. With your entries (plus some help from Google) I am truly becoming educated.

  2. Hi! I didn't drop off the face of the earth- really!
    It's nice to drop on by and see what you're up to- a lot of good stuff as usual!
    I have just been getting super busy lately, I guess. Time to slow down and take a breath!


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