My friend Patty gave me the idea for this post. She talked in her blog about making up the bed and doing a morning “gratitude meditation” as she performed the task. I applaud her spirit, but my mind just went crazy with memories about making the bed. J
When I was a young girl I was a fanatic about keeping my room clean. I attribute this to the fact that I had four brothers, and we were poor. My brothers were slobs, so of course I wanted to be the opposite, and therefore the “good child”. We didn’t have much, so I wanted to take care of what little I did have. Mom was great about buying pretty linens at yard sales and swap meets. My diary from my tween years has lots of entries about mopping the floor, or cleaning my room, and you can just feel the satisfaction leaping off the pages.
My grandmother and her mother both had gorgeous beds. Gran’s was an old four-poster with a colorful chenille peacock bedspread- always made, always presentable. Bigg’s was a very high bed with a bright flowered comforter. I don’t recall EVER seeing her bed unmade.
One of my first real jobs was EKG technician in a major hospital in CA. One day I was in the room when an orderly was making up the bed and I was fascinated by the precise way he did it, especially the efficiency with which he put on the pillow case. I’ve used his pillow method ever since!
For about three years I worked as a housekeeper while I went to school and worked a couple of other part-time jobs. I learned to make beds the way clients wanted them. Some wanted military precision and tight corners. Others wanted the top sheet loose so their feet could move. Some made their own bed and didn’t want me to touch it. One had a round queen-sized bed! That was a challenge, even with custom sheets.
Over the years I have always made my bed in the morning- not because I’m a fanatic anymore, but because I’ve always had a cat. I hate, hate, hate to have a cat snuggle in my sheets! Sleeping on top of the comforter is okay, but touch my sheets and I’m not happy. Sleep on my pillow and I have to wash it! So even on rushed mornings everything at least gets pulled up over the top of the pillows.
And just a word about sheets. I didn’t realize until I was an adult that my smart Gran bought expensive sheets. She didn’t own many, but they felt oh-so-much-better than ours and I could never figure out why. When I was a kid I thought she just had a better washing machine! Well, she was smart enough to know the restorative power of a good night’s sleep!! And soft, smooth, clean sheets on a well-made bed is the best way to start the night! So she bought the best she could afford.
I think another reason Gran bought expensive sheets was because we all hung them on the line. They flapped in the breeze all day and smelled wonderful, but the cheaper ones never dried “soft”.
I remember seeing an ad for satin sheets once. I thought that sounded pretty sexy (I was twenty-two) so I bought a pillow case to give them a trial. I had such a miserable night!! Lol My head kept slipping off the pillow and the pillow ended up on my face. I could just imagine slipping off the bed and onto the floor! I never bought the sheets.
Gary’s grandmother must have loved sheets because when she died we discovered that she had stacks and stacks of them. She could have changed her sheets each week for a year and never used the same set!
Oh, one more story just popped into my head. When we lived in Highway City, we had a German neighbor who had been in a prison camp as a child. As a result, she was absolutely fanatical about germs. She washed her walls, and mopped her floors every week. And she ironed EVERYTHING- including socks, underwear, and yes, sheets, in order to kill germs. I’d almost forgotten that. I don’t think the poor woman ever got any rest.
Well, my bed is made, so I think I’ll go fix some breakfast.