Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Wanted: One Good Broom

I think brooms are underrated. Utilitarian workhorses, we grab them when needed and toss them back into the closet when finished.

I have a good broom, an Amish broom made right here in the USA. Actually, as far as I know the broom itself isn't religious. Rather, it was made by an Amish person. The Amish being people who might understand the value of a good broom.

I've had bad brooms in my life. For some reason, I was determined to repeat the O-Cedar broom disasters of my youth, and I believe we went through 4 brooms before I finally ordered myself a proper broom in 2006. O-Cedar brooms have copious amounts of plastic, with plastic-coated cheap aluminum handles and synthetic bristles. The handles break, the bristles go limp and stay dirty.

When I read Living the Good Life by Linda Cockburn I was inspired by her praise of her broom. (Indeed, I enjoyed the whole book). Indeed, sweeping the floor is less time-consuming than vacuuming. It's easy. It's meditative. It's lets you see the actual dirt that you are attempting to eradicate from your floors.

Things I've learned about my broom:

It is a helpful tool in cleaning children's bedrooms, especially then the clean up involves Lego pieces strewn all over the floor. Everything is swept into the middle of the room for central processing.

(Sweeping also means that the tiny, special Lego pieces aren't inadvertently sucked into oblivion.)

The broom can knock down corner cobwebs.

Before I sweep a room I take the broom along the baseboards, dusting them and helping to prevent later build up that must be scrubbed off by hand.

A good, stiff broom (mine is) can take care of of low carpet most of the time. I wish my home was carpet-free, but it isn't.

A good kitchen broom can handle concrete steps and the deck.

The broom can be rinsed and dried if it gets dirty. The O-Cedar never came clean.

A broom in the hands of a small child is sometimes a pony, and sometimes a Firebolt or Nimbus 2000.

A good broom has a life after the broom straws are ragged and beyond saving. There is the sturdy hardwood handle, which can be repurposed. There is a bit of metal, which can also be repurposed, or recycled. The broom straws themselves can be composted.

A final plus; a good broom makes and excellent decoration for a kitchen, as long as it is a kitchen that actually gets used on a regular basis and isn't masquerading as a magazine showpiece. To make this work, the broom has to actually be used; pristine brooms need not apply.

Never again need I toss a broken yellow broom into the garbage.

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