It’s the little things …

It’s the little things …

Yesterday morning I got the bug to fix my living room windows. I had nearly all the other windows in this house replaced when I moved in three years ago, but the living room has lovely old wood moldings and the windows have that old glass with bubbles and waves in it, and vinyl windows would have looked terrible. So they stayed the way they were — old, double-hung, and permanently shut and gummed up with caulk.

Until yesterday. Yesterday I decided they needed to open. Despite the last six weeks of snow and rain, I have a hunch it’s going to be a very hot summer and the stuck windows have been a real drag the past couple of years. So I started in on them with a chisel and a hammer and rather quickly I got to the end of my knowledge about windows.

So I called my local window place — the one that put in all those insulated windows for me a couple of years ago. They sent a couple of guys over in the afternoon and they looked at the windows and it was clear that it was really the sort of job they didn’t want to do — it wasn’t very big. So they jimmied open the windows for me, pulled the trim off and showed me how to sand the windows and the sashes and put it all back together. And then they measured for screens and measured the glass in the back door window that’s been broken for … well, almost 2 years (I left the wrong set of keys when I went out of town and Bob and Robin had to break the window to make sure Patsy Cat hadnt’ expired). This morning they dropped the screens off — nice, new, modern screens — not those old, grotty, oh-so-dirty screens that were in the shed. I am now sitting in my ventilated living room, enjoying the morning breeze and looking through the clean new screens. Ah.

9 thoughts on “It’s the little things …

  1. I just have to tell you how much I enjoy reading your postings! You have a wonderful writing style. I am reminded of how many writers warmed up to their writing projects by writing letters. I am sure you have read many cllections of letters. Reading your blog makes me feel like I am a friend involved in your personal life. I am going to find your book and hope you will continue to find time to write your personal self for all to enjoy. Happy Memorial Weekend.

  2. Gee, thanks Carol — most of the time this just feels like rank self-indulgence, so it’s nice to know that at least it provides some entertainment for someone!

    And I do love letter collections — there is, of course, the bedrock of all collections — Virginia Woolf’s letters. She was so funny, and smart, and a terrific gossip. My other couple of favorites are: Habit of Being, the letters of Flannery O’Connor, One Art, Elizabeth Bishop’s letters, and Between Friends, the correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy. Maybe I’ll put them in the book recs.

  3. There’s nothing like the look and feel of old windows and nice fresh screens. We too have a house half-full of ancient windows, broken but worth saving. Replacement parts are hard to find, so in case you too are looking, DH found an on-line source, No personal testament yet, as the project is still a few items down our to-do list.

  4. Try fixing up a 48 year old ranch. I just don’t where to begin, so have decided to set on the porch and look at the sahuaros.

  5. Jim! Get that porch fixed so I can come gaze on the lovely sahuaros with you and my dearest Debra — congrats on buying the ranch!

  6. what is it about summer light? Yesterday I actually scraped all the mis-placed paint off my (old, half-painted-shut, but we won’t go there because the bottom halves at least open) kitchen windows and cleaned them, and their storms inside and out. Voila– the view is crystal clear!

  7. Setting on the porch isn’t enough. Drinking a bottle of wine (white during the stinking hot time) is best, and checking out the wind shifting up valley (from the heat sink of Tucson’s streets), to down slope breezes off the surrounding hills just after dark. Wine works best in these intrepretations, much better than mushrooms: wine helps the whole body and soul “see” the universe, while mushrooms just confuse and enlighten a specific part of the body, or mind.

  8. Hey! You can have a sort of conversation here! I’m fairly new to this blog stuff. You mentioned Virginia Woolf. To The Lighthouse is an all time favorite. I don’t know if you are a Thomas Wolfe fan…Look Homeward Angel has passages that read with an emotion that doesn’t exist anywhere else. There is a collection of letters between him and Aline Bernstein called My Other Loneliness that is worth reading.

  9. Now Jim — not *those* kind of mushrooms! I don’t like those — they make me into a monster of ADD and I get bored … these are morels. Lovely lovely morels. Next year I need a boat, so I can get to all those cottonwood groves along the river ….

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