• KD DuBois

Sangria and Cleaning

Today is National Sangria Day, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why this gets celebrated in the winter. Isn’t Sangria, the mixture of wine, spritzer, and fruit, a summertime drink? The kind that doesn’t need pulverized ice? What gives?

Anyway, I won’t let the winter windchill keep me from enjoying this “national day of” while inside. I’ve got all the necessary ingredients to do it justice. In fact, I got schooled on the best way to use this drink by my mother back when I was a teenager.

Mom hated cleaning, so she did what all moms do…made her kid do it in order to earn an allowance. But, no matter how much she kept me to a daily schedule, she couldn’t avoid the deep-dive that houses need once a year—the spring cleaning. She usually picked the first Saturday warm enough to open all the windows to let the breeze air out the house, yet still keep the place cool enough to not break a sweat while scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting. On top of the usual weekly chores, everything got touched: floorboards, refrigerator shelves and bins, the oven and its racks, drapes, pillows, light fixtures, and even doorknobs.

She planned for those days and stocked up on refreshments. Bright and early, Mom would get out a giant glass pitcher and mix together wine, slices of citrus fruits, and a touch of bubbly water. The sangria would sit in the middle of the table and the rule was: if you’re cleaning, then you’re allowed to drink it. So, throughout the day, Mom and I would take breaks together, fill a short glass with ice and sangria, and rest while sipping, talking about nothing in particular and planning out the next items to tackle.

Strange how Dad always disappeared out to the garage on those days. Smart man.

For those of you wondering how a parent could allow a teenager to drink right in front of them, well, Mom knew what she was doing. I didn’t like the taste of it and cut my glass with a significant amount of Sprite. It kept me from experimenting without their knowledge and reinforced the fact that drinking was an “adult” behavior that I still needed to grow into.

And while I’ve got a few months to go before spring cleaning, at least this day did one thing for me—brought back the memories of those still moments shared by a mother and daughter.


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