Washing windows – la, la, la

Posted on October 16, 2013


washing windows
I’m not one for cleaning. Sure, I like things neat, but I’d much rather be kayaking or meditating or doing anything other than cleaning. I even try to trick myself by saying that cleaning burns calories, so it’s good.

My dear Mom is a very traditional person. She believes in a thorough Spring and Fall cleaning. This includes washing windows. Now since she is 91, I don’t want her climbing on step ladders to wash the windows. So, I volunteered (or should I say was volunteered to take over this task.)

The windows looked fine to me. I’m very near sighted and don’t pay attention to details, but she claimed the windows were “filthy” (her words, not mine). There is also a process for cleaning windows, who knew? I thought all you had to do was spray a little Windex, wipe with a paper towel and it’s done. Wrong.

She has these fancy storm window/screen arrangement that go in different tracks. Each one has to be taken out to be cleaned. And then you clean the actual window. This involved getting up on a ladder to clean the outside. It was only a step ladder, but I am not good with heights. Plus, between my hip and foot issues, I’m not too steady on my feet. At least if I fell, I would fall onto something soft like theΒ nicely spread mulch.

So, I’m on the outside and Mom is inside shouting directions. “Get the corners. You’re not wiping correctly. . .” Okay, breathe and count to ten. For her, I don’t think it was just about the window. She is really disappointed that she can no longer do things like this. I think it represents a loss of independence. If it were me, I would be celebrating the fact that I could no longer do windows.

So I carefully take out the storm window and screen and I clean them. I carefully put them back in the tracks. Except now, they don’t slide up as far as before and there is a big gap. What the h—? I take them out again, step onto a step stool and try to see what’s up. Nothing. Try putting them back again. Tell Mom, she’ll have to live with the gap since there’s nothing else I can do. Also notice there are fingerprints all over the windows from me trying to put them back in the tracks without dropping them. Ack.

Two hours and two windows later, I’ve had it for the day. My arms are killing me! I guess bicep curls don’t prepare you for housework.

I must admit the windows do look a lot cleaner. It’s as though there’s just the outside and no glass.

So my lesson learned from all this:

1. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do something, even if you don’t think it’s important. Someone else might. If I can make my Mom happy by doing this, then I’ll gladly do it.

2. Laugh at yourself. As I was teetering on the ladder, I had visions of falling face first into the mulch. Mmm, I wonder if that would mean I wouldn’t have to wash any more windows?

3. Do something different. This experience served as a reminder that we all need more than gym routines to be healthy and fit.

So what about you? What can you do today?

Photo is courtesy of Alan Cleaver’s Flickr Photostream, under Creative Commons Licensing.