Soooo today I did the windows, inside and out. Whew! What a job. It looks good though don't you think? And, don't get me wrong. I love when you do a job and it really really looks like you did the job. The fact that I don't do it very often helps of course.
But today I want to make a case for Not doing windows. And not for the reason you think. I know you are thinking that the reason is I'm lazy, which is true. But hey, let's be fair. It is a lot of work. First I have to collect all the necessary gear, that being, window spray, paper towels, a collection bag for dirty paper towels, a broom AND a step ladder. That is a lot of crap to drag around the perimeter of the house.
Is all that necessary? Yuppers. I don't remember having to do this anywhere else we lived but here before washing the windows, I have to sweep the windows. Sounds crazy but it's true. The wind blows a lot here. I mean, it's often just a lovely gentle sea breeze, but that's still wind and it's still blowing albeit softly. And the air is moist. Even on the driest day there is some degree of moisture in the air. You put those two things together and whatever the breeze blows sticks in the corners of the windows, in the corners of the panes of the windows and definitely in the screens. Oh yeah, the screens.
The screens are another whole thing. To wash the windows from the outside, first I have to take down the screens, sweep them, wash them, wash the windows and put the screens back. One extra step for each and every screened window. Yay! (that's sarcasm for the uninitiated)
Anyway so the windows are first swept, as I said, and then the screens removed and cleaned and then the windows are cleaned which generally requires a step ladder to reach the upper panes because, as everyone who reads this blog already knows, I am short. Using a step ladder inside the house is no biggie because the tile floors are nice and firm and flat and level and everything that the great outdoors is not. When I place the step ladder in the earth it's wonky, not anywhere close to level. And as soon as I put my foot on that first step , if there is any give at all in the ground, it sinks, at least a bit, and if there is a rock in the way of the sinking it will suddenly tilt in an unexpected direction. It's really a good workout for the old reflexes. Yes I dearly love using a ladder outside (more sarcasm)
And then there is the wildlife. And by wildlife I mostly mean wasps. I mean yes, there are birds which occasionally means scraping off bird poop (yuck) and occasional spider webs but they seem to be more forgiving if their web gets broken. There are lizards of course but they always zip out of the way of wherever I am. Very thoughtful, lizards. Any other bugs in the vicinity have usually hidden as soon as anyone or anything comes near. But wasps? They are aggressive and territorial. Never mind that the territory they are getting aggressive about is actually ours.
I've written before about how wasps have decided that the eaves and window corners on the back of our house are the perfect place to build their nests. Whenever we notice them, we wait for a rainy day and/or cool evening and knock the nests down and spray like mad. And then the wasps rebuild in the exact same place. Over and over and over. I am baffled by this behaviour! Get a clue, Wasps. Buy a vowel! Go Away! I say to them repeatedly. And then they return only to build again. Sigh.
So it's been hot and humid and not the correct weather for knocking down wasp nests without risking life and limb so sweeping and washing the windows along the back of the house becomes a game of Dodge Wasp. And it's not really as much fun as it sounds.
And this is Florida in June. This particular June feels more like July. July is not as unpleasant as August but it's still hot and humid and that kind of sucks. So there you have multiple reasons why a person shouldn't wash windows. But it's not the reason I was thinking of.
And I have to go back to Colorado to tell this story. The house we bought there backed up to the open prairie with a distant view of the ridge line . Every single morning we saw the sun rise over that ridge. It was pretty awesome. And the designer of the house wisely put a lot of windows along the back of the house to enjoy this view. Big windows. Huge windows. Two story high windows. And a big old sliding door too. Lots of glass. Lots and lots of glass. Not only was it a lot of glass but I kept it so clean that birds crashed into it. It was horrible.
In very short order Tim ordered some window films for all of the windows on that side of the house. And for multiple reasons: 1. It cut down on the actual temperature of the house, 2. it prevented sun damage to anything in those rooms 3. it allowed for privacy because these particular window films prevented anyone on the outside from seeing in, but from the inside we saw out perfectly. Like one way glass. It was very cool. And to our surprise 4. because the birds couldn't see through the glass they stopped crashing into the windows. Whew!
Fast forward back to today, here in Florida. We do not have windows anywhere near that large here but we do have a lot of windows for a small house, especially on the back. And we do have a ton of birds here. We have had a few bird-crashes our first year here. None fatal, thank goodness but the sound is stomach turning let me tell ya. I put one of those static film decoration things in one window because that is supposed to work but it kept falling down. I had no idea what to do. I kept cleaning the windows, because that is what one does and birds kept crashing into them.
And then the rainy season came. And that means constant splashes on the window, and bounce back splash from the rain hitting the dirt on the ground in front of the windows and the wind blowing tree furb and seeds and pollen against the windows and insects building nests against them and well, the windows got dirty ok? It was impossible to keep up with it.
I kept telling myself, "tomorrow I will clean the windows" and then the next day it would rain again so after enough days went by it was a week. And when enough weeks went by it was a month. Enough months went by and sunofagun the entire rainy season went by and suddenly it was beautiful out again. But nobody could tell because the windows were so filthy the sun wasn't coming in at all. Yuck!
On the other hand, no birds were crashing into the windows, the temperature was lower and no sun was sneaking in to fade any furniture and absolutely nobody could peek inside so we had total privacy. Hmmm. Not sure there is a market for it but hey here we go, "Filth - Nature's window films"
Nope I don't think that's gonna fly (no pun intended)
Meanwhile, although I've made my case for not cleaning windows, you will notice I came up with this theory while cleaning windows. And now they are nice and clean again and we shall see how long it is before another bird crashes into the glass. Or until we come up with another alternative to prevent it.
Now if we could just get those dang wasps to leave town.......
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.