Well, the “spring forward” time change is behind us, which means... Spring Break! And with spring break comes... spring cleaning! It’s a glorious thing to be a part of, especially if your winter months were crazy like ours.

We started with our garage this year. Let me pat Jerry and I on the back for a moment. We’ve always been able to fit our two vehicles in to our garage. Ever since we moved in to our home back in September 2007, we’ve been able to park our cars in the garage. A lot of people use their garage as a storage unit. I get it, but then don’t call it a garage; call it an under-roof storage facility.

Even though our vehicles fit, the perimeter of the garage can get VERY cluttered with “stuff.” So, every so often, and especially every spring, we clean our garage. You can’t believe the treasures you can find in a garage and wonder why the heck you were hanging on to some of the stuff.

I came across a George Forman rotisserie that I got probably 10 years ago. I used it a few times, and then it went in the box and out to the garage. I haven’t used it in years and the past few cleanings, I thought to myself “I need to put a pork loin on that and cook it.” But, my brother-in-law, Jim Dillard, cooks a pork loin that, I’m sorry George, your rotisserie can’t hold a candle to. So... out with the George Foreman and thank you, Jim Dillard.

There were tools all over the garage that are now in their proper place. There were about 10 pair of work/gardening gloves that the word “dry rot” would be a compliment to.

We invested in heavy duty Christmas tree bags and bagged our trees. Usually we CRAM our trees in to their original cardboard box, secure it with duct tape and a camouflage bungee strap, and shove it up against a wall in the garage. Or, we put the pieces of the tree in black garbage bags, write what section of the tree it is on duct tape, slap it on the outside of the bag and haul it to the attic. But this year, we unboxed the trees and they each have their own heavy duty storage bag to live in with SO MUCH ROOM! Jerry said “I can almost hear the trees breathing!” OK. They’re artificial trees, but I get what he was saying.

We bought three shelving units to put in the garage to hold various things like the chain saw, igloo coolers, etc. I even have an empty shelf for the Dillard granddaughters to put their shoes on when they come over. Not because I’m a clean freak about shoes in my house, but because when four beautiful girls come over to your house and the first thing they do is kick off their shoes... finding them when it’s time for them to go home is better and more fun than the grandest Easter Egg Hunt you’ve ever been on.

Did we get rid of a lot of stuff? Oh my, yes! Did we get rid of everything we should have? Oh my, NO!

Case in point: Jerry had a little money left when he finished his sophomore year in college (1977) and so he bought a slalom ski. Yes, going to school in Lubbock, had no boat, but thought a ski would be a great thing to have. If you drive in to our pristine garage, you will see THAT ski propped up against one of the walls in our garage.

So, while spring cleaning is glorious and we all need to purge now and then, some things, you just can’t bring yourself to part with. All I know is... we have beautiful lakes in East Texas but we have no boat, and if Jerry were to put that ski in the water and try to ski on it... I’m pretty sure it would snap like a twig (not Jerry, but the ski).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and just admire my clean garage. Tomorrow... kitchen cabinets, get ready! I love Spring Break! I love spring cleaning! I love spring (even if I DID lose an hour of it)!

— Dawn Dillard is a proud East Texas gal who loves all things southern especially cooking, music and family. She can be reached via email at