Saturday, October 22, 2011

Winter Is Coming

I was washing windows this morning. Whenever I wash windows, I can’t help but remember the “old” windows. I washed the old windows exactly twice in almost 20 years. The last time I washed the old windows was a week when my parents were here. They’d brought their trailer and had taken the kids half way up the mountain to a camping spot. Dad’s truck wasn’t made to pull trailers over mountains, and half way was as far as he dared to go.
Since Mom and Dad had the kids, it seemed like a good time for Jay and me to wash windows, and so we did. They were horrible windows that should never have been invented, aluminum with storm windows attached. Jay washed the outside while I washed the inside, breaking nails and pinching fingers while trying to pry open the worthless storms that didn’t keep out the cold during the severe winters that we used to have anyway. I think we thought we could knock them out in a day and then join everyone else camping. It took longer than we thought, much longer.
I think we washed windows for three days. It seemed like the whole week. It was foolishness on our part. Those were lean years when I saw my parents very little. I think I was bitter, and I never forgave the windows. And I never washed them again, ever! Oh, I would Windex them on the inside, but they were never again actually washed.
Years later, after all of our kids graduated from college, we purchased new windows. We spared little expense since the plan is to live in this house far into our doting old age. The new windows are vinyl and double paned; all on the second floor can be washed from the inside, and it only takes a couple of hours if I’m swishing right along. When we first got the new windows, I think I washed them every month right up till cold weather. I must have felt like I needed to make up for all those lost window washing years. After a couple of summers, I decided that was ridiculous. People who are conscientious about their windows do them no more than twice a year. But, when I wash them, I always remember the old ones and how I wished I’d only washed them once.
Winter is coming both literally and metaphorically, and I do want to be ready. I just happen to believe that washing the windows has very little to do with it…especially if as predicted it snows on Wednesday, in which case I hope it comes from the north—the side of the house with no windows.

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