Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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 barefoot on her English oak dining table, and working with a chamois leather until my arms ached.
She liked to clean the windows at night, her theory was, "You can see the streaks better , when the sun goes down"...

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 regularly. Maybe not all at once, (we have 25 windows in this house) but they all get a "lick and a promise", before a season passes.

These days we have those "new type" windows that you can pull inside the house and clean...except 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

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....... *grin*.


Mel said...

Please start that window washer thing here in the US. Only I never, ever clean my windows, so please don't look! I bet yours are beautiful!

donna baker said...

That was funny and sweet. Tell me now, Jo, what would one do if their windows are 16 feet high in and out of course.

Janneke said...

A great post, lovely story and nice pictures. In our country we clean our windows too very often. But nowadays younger people are more careless, myself I am not obsessed (grin)but once in a fortnight I have to clean the windows.

vic said...

My thoughts exactly about the ones that tilt inside for easy cleaning. I can't bring myself to do it.

Fortunately there is only one window upstairs that I can't get to via the porch or garage roof so I do get to them all (except that one!) at least once a year. We have the kind that has two layers and the inside one can be taken out so that makes four surfaces per window to deal with. Whew! I am always so glad when that is all over !!

Victoria in Indiana

DJan said...

I remember my visit to Germany to discover that many windows open outwards and there are no screens to keep bugs out. I love to look through a clean window, but I'm really glad you don't live too close to me! I would be so self conscious. :-)

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Lol DJan...
I don't judge other peoples'
windows, I just like to look out of a clean window, on my side of the view :)

Country Gal said...

I clean my windows once a month inside and out . My windows sound to be the same as yours and yes I do some times struggle to put them back into the tracks , I got this window cleaning thing from my mum as she was also British , all my British family over there in England are clean window obsessed lol ! Thanks for sharing Lovely photos ! Have a good week !

Terry said...

Oops. My windows are dirty. I was just noticing today that they need a good cleaning. I'd be drummed out of England.

Anonymous said...

Well, I must say that clean, sparkling windows do make a difference. For the first time I am using a window washer because we are putting the house on the market for sale very soon and with everything else going on I could use extra help. We are southerners moving back south (TN ) after seven years in NH :)

Wendy in NH