Every year around March, when we’re sick of winter, a sunny Saturday is in the wings, and it’s above freezing, Brian or I will mention that if we were really ambitious, we would wash windows.
The other one, whichever the case may be, will glance through the nearest unsightly window and after careful consideration, say, “Nah.”
Then the months pass, the windows get dirtier, and before you know it, another March has arrived.
Here it is late October. So when Brian’s inner Heloise kicked in last night, and he suggested that we wash windows today, I was taken aback.
That’s late March talk, I thought. That’s the kind of thing that is forgotten for another year by April once the lawn needs mowed and other warm-weather duties swamp the chore list.
It wouldn’t be such a bad job if the screens weren’t such a pain. You have to hold your mouth just so and speak a little French directly at them, and often at each other, to wrestle them out or worse, back in place. A few of them are bent so badly that one small animal or hundreds of large insects could fly in around the gaps. The bent places no doubt came from us trying to force the screens into place while hurling insults at them. In French, of course.
You would think that a grown person, or two of them, would know for sure that screens and every other object will not fit better by applying brute force.
But then, every now and then, a screen will just gracefully drop itself into place, leaving us wondering how that happened, and trying to duplicate the effort with the next window.
Who knew that washing windows was such a popular topic? I asked for suggestions on Facebook and got about 20 responses. Some offered recipes featuring things like vinegar and ammonia. Others hinted that the wiping materials – paper towels or rags or special cloths—were the secret to sparkle.
Several promoted the use of newspapers. While I could kiss anyone who promotes newspapers in any way, I find the prospect of using them as cleaning materials a bit daunting.
We went with store-brand window cleaner and store-brand paper towels. They worked great! (We also bought store-brand toilet paper this week. Will let you know how that goes).
Brian worked outside and I was stationed inside. For the screens, we scrubbed them with orange-scented Spic & Span /water mixture applied with a brush and then sprayed with the hose. But the secret to clean screens doesn’t end there. That’s been my mistake before! This time I went over the screens, drying them with paper towels and pulled off a lot of loosened grime that would have dried back in place.
A couple of hours later, we had crystal-clear windows, and we vowed to do this more often. I imagine that means that five or 10 Marches from now, we’ll revisit the topic.
Brian is prancing around admiring our work as I write this. He said the cheap stuff worked great, didn’t it? He wants some props. I told him it did, indeed.
Trying not to brag, he said with humility, in a “good-enough” sort of way, “We’re not doing the governor’s mansion.”
Good thing. That house has a ton more windows than we do. And the screens are a lot older. Probably bent.
It would require a lot more French than I know.