Saturday, September 13, 2014

Window Washing

Dear Christa—
A lot of things didn’t happen this summer after I broke my patella. So, even though school is pretty all consuming, we decided that we’d try to do one thing we usually do in the summer each weekend this fall. Last week I cleaned most of the windows. I finished up the last four on the back of the house this morning while Jay went to Home Depot to buy stain for the deck.
I never wash windows without thinking about the horrible aluminum windows with the nail-breaking storms that were over them that we had for years and years—and the summer I decided that I was never washing them again.
My parents had come from Illinois and brought their camper. They had taken the kids to a campground in Green Mountain Falls, and Jay and I decided to wash all the windows and storm windows inside and out. We thought it would only take a day and maybe the next morning, and then we’d join them.
So, as my parents watched the kids swim in the pool, I broke fingernails and one window-washing day turned into two. And when two days turned to four, I vowed that I would never wash those windows again—ever. In those years I only saw my parents once a year, and it all made me sad. As I was vowing to never wash windows again, Dad was deciding to never bring the camper to Colorado again. It cost too much to pull it, and his truck wasn’t strong enough to haul it over the mountains, which is why they ended up only in Green Mountain Falls.
It was a vow I kept for years. We never again washed those windows between the storms, not ever. Oh, I’d spray a little Windex on the inside, and Jay would squirt the outside with the hose once a year, but never ever did we really do those windows that I hated.
Years later, after all the kids had graduated from college, we bought new double paned windows. They don’t take very long to wash, and all the upstairs windows can be washed from the inside, both inside and out. So, generally, after the Miller moths migrate though here in June, I wash windows—except this year when I broke my patella.
So, this morning as I finished them up, I was thinking about how I hated those old windows and the visit I’d squandered on them. Dad never did bring the camper back to Colorado, although we met them to camp at other places over the years. And it’s been many years now that I’ve had nice windows, and Dad has gone to Heaven.
Today, the nastiness that Miller moths leave behind is gone—that is until they come through next year. I see more clearly now. And, I didn’t break even one nail.

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