Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You Missed A Spot.....

I'm not quite sure when I first became aware of my "clean windows" obsession..

I have a suspicion it started somewhere in my childhood, having the prestigious job of cleaning my grandma's windows standing on her English oak dining table, and working with a chamois leather until my arms were sore.
She liked to clean the windows at night, her theory was, "You can see the streaks better , when the sun goes down"...

Having been born and raised in England, one of the standards in an English household, are clean windows.
We obsess about them, neighbours fall out over them, you are judged by them.

Woe be the housewife who has dirty windows......

The window cleaner used to come around weekly, and clean the outside of the windows. There were window cleaners in every neighborhood of every town in England. The homeowner themselves, usually cleaned the insides, unless the job was too difficult.

It was always about pride.....we British seem to hang our hat's on that one.


It seems I continued my "must clean the windows" one -woman campaign , as soon as my suitcase was unpacked in Colorado. One of the first items I bought at the local K. Mart store was a nice leather chamois cloth, Windex and soft cotton towels.

Cleaning the windows on the inside, was not a problem, but I had never been introduced to "storm windows", or "screened windows". I understood the need, but wondered how American housewives cleaned the windows weekly, when it took so much time in removing the screens first.
It wasn't too much time before I realized it was an impossible goal. Too heavy, too cumbersome, too time-consuming......forget it.

I still clean windows weekly. Maybe not all at once, (we have 25 windows in this house) but they all get a "lick and a promise".
There is something so extremely satisfying in viewing the world, through a sparkling glass window.


My grandma Ciss used to tell me " Take care of the corners, the middle will look after itself ."



To this day, I cannot clean a window, without hearing her whispering that little saying into my ear. I always smile and give the corners an extra little rub.

I have innocently enough, passed this obsession along to my daughter.......enjoy lovey ;)

11 comments:

Pastor Sharon said...

All of those windows, except for the one written on, have beautiful views with lovely decor.

My dad preached a sermon once about a woman who never associated with her neighbors because they were dirty. One day the parson came to visit and made a comment about how lonely she must be.
She replied, All those people are dirty. I can't been seen with them.
Parson replied, try cleaning your windows.
Next Sunday at church, old widow tells that parson since everyone in the neighborhood has cleaned up, she has made new friends.
Moral, clean your own house before looking at another's dirt.

jeannette stgermain said...

The same way for the Dutch women:) By the way, I love the stained lass part of your window!

DJan said...

I didn't realize you had also lived in Colorado. Which part? I love these pictures, especially the last, lovely one. I assume that most of these are taken in your Tennessee home and are current? (Certainly not the dirty one, though.)

Nice way to open my blog list and begin a new month! Thank you.

bennie and patsy said...

Now I have to stop playing with the computer and clean my windows. What a guilt trip. LOL
Patsy

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Jo...I'd be willing to bet every inch of your home is spotless!
Someone, somewhere got smart and came up with windows we can now get to the outside from the inside
which makes it easier! Still you have reminded me of MORE WORK I need to do!
xoxo * muwah *

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Pastor Sharon: I think that is a fitting sermon, my standards are what I impose on myself, and not to judge others by.

Jeannette: I dated a Dutch boy in school, his mum was one spotless house keeper !

DJan: I lived in Colorado Springs, we were stationed at Fort carson. Colorado is such a beautiful state, we always talked about living there again.
Windows are from around the house.

Benny and Patsy: No just let the windows keep, until another day :)
Computer is more important....lol

Carol: I have those "new type" windows that you can pull inside the house and clean....it's not quite that simple.
I tend to end up wrestling with the bloomin things, and then have to wack 'em back into the tracks to get them back in the frame. I have this feeling one day they won't go back in, and I'll be left with holes and NO windows...lol

DJan said...

One thing that Americans who don't travel aren't aware of is how many places just don't use screens at all. I remember my first visit to Germany and the windows just opened up to the sky and grounds. I also just visited Macedonia and they also don't use screens. This is just not done in the States! You are not supposed to let insects into your house, I suppose!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

DJan: Another reason people in England or various other European countries never install screens, were the fact that in England at least, the weather even in Summer is not that hot, so people tend to keep their houses closed up.
In the event it was hot for any length of time, they would welcome an open window, usually the most bugs would be a fly or two.
Nowadays, I think they may be installing portable screen doors and the likes.

Daffycat said...

I don't remember the last time I cleaned my windows...and they fold out for easy cleaning.

Mmph, I should probably at least clean the corners!

Cass @ That Old House said...

OH dear, oh dear, oh dear... my windows are a true disgrace. I'm afraid some of them don't even open, and I'm afraid to get too rough with them, as they might crumble apart.

I can remember my first trip to Europe in '79, and lying wide awake in a beautiful hotel on the Bodensee, sleepless because it was a hot night, the screen-less windows were open, and the ceiling was full of flies!

Just discovered your beautiful blog and have signed on to follow you. Best wishes ... Cass

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Daffycat: lol...at least the corners ;)

Cass: Bodensee is in S. Germany ? Not sure why you have bugs there, it's not the hottest place..
In older homes, most of the windows are painted shut with layers and layers of paint, I wouldn't worry about trying to unstick them, I'd say you wouldn't get them shut again;)