Window washing

It’s one of those jobs I’ve been putting off since we moved in.

It’s not that washing windows is particularly onerous. It’s just time-consuming. Every window has a storm window, and some are huge, and it just never bothered me enough to be worth the effort.

But they’re really bad. I realized that Sunday, when I finally decided to break the job into rooms and tackled the first set of two.

My rag came up black when I ran it across the inside of a window.

Oddly that seemed to hold true as the afternoon wore on. The inside of the windows were filthier than the outside, though I did sweep cobwebs away from the outside panes prior to cleaning.

I had to empty my bucket of water between windows, probably could have done so an extra time or two as well.

I remember cleaning windows as a child. Dad offered us $5 a window — I think that number increased to $10 for storm windows — but he demanded a high-quality washing. Those windows were filthy, too, red West Texas sand in every crevice. We lived on the edge of town, just one block between us and cotton fields, and the dust storms turned our windows red.

We washed windows in the late afternoon and the western sun showed every smudge, every speck of dust, that our childish hands had created.

I don’t think we ever signed up for the job again.

This time I washed windows in the early afternoon under a light cloud cover, the better to NOT see every single smudge. And, in that room at least, they look like responsible adults live here.

There was no $10-a-window prize waiting for me this time. So I countered with a Klondike bar from the grocery store instead, and called it even.


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