Saturday, April 18, 2009

Window Cleaning


The windows on our cinderblock,flat roofed home were casement windows that had heavy metal frames and several panes of glass that were held into place by putty. There were two panels of these panes to each window that opened and shut by a crank handle. The screens were the old metal screens that lasted forever.

What I remember most about these windows was cleaning them. On window cleaning day, Mom, Dad and we kids would spend the day out in the yard hosing down the screens which had been removed from the windows and laid out on the grass. The next step was to use a scrub brush and scrub down both sides of each screen.

While the screens were out of the windows we would also clean the windows themselves, which usually involved one person in the house turning the handles to crank open all the window panels and someone outside cleaning them.

The windows in the back of the house were higher off the ground and required sitting on a small step ladder to clean them.

Some of the window handles were broken or missing, which made it harder to open some of the windows. It seems like I remember mom having one loose window handle that she would carry around to the broken ones and stick that handle in each one to open it. I don’t know why the handles weren’t just fixed unless it were a situation where they couldn’t find anymore replacement handles.

I never thought of window cleaning day as a chore. I remember playing in the water and spraying my sister with the water hose while we sorta kinda scrubbed the screens and leaned them up against the house to dry. Maybe the reason Mom never complained about our spraying each other was that she was just glad it kept us out of her hair.

While we were cleaning windows Dad would busy himself with repairing any broken panes and reputtying them so they were good till the next window day.

I guess the best thing about window cleaning was that we did it as a family. In fact in those days, we did just about everything as a family so something that would be considered a chore, became a treasured memory.

7 comments:

  1. We had the same type windows, and I remember, also, the "universal window opener" being taken from one window to the next one that didn't have its own crank. lol. My mom used to do this on a weekday when us kids were at school, so she wouldn't have to stop to fix lunch for us. Of course, us kids could never clean the windows/screens to suit her satisfaction, so she always did it herself. lol. Hugs.

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  2. I have some of those kind of windows and I am going to replace them.

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  3. As young as I was when we moved away from CC, I vividly remember window cleaning day and the universal window crank mom carried around. Sometimes i got the window crank for her. there is something to be said for the "old way of doing things" when families were more of a cohesive group than they are now.

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  4. Wow, I never thought that window cleaning could be fun. It wasn't fun for my poor mom. When Mom and Dad built their new house in 1956, they ordered huge new picture windows from a friend who had just started out as a window-manufacturer. This was probably a mistake, because there were sliding windows at either end of the main panel that had to be lifted out (by 3 people!!) to be cleaned. Then, of course, when you got them back in, there's be a smudge you could do nothing about. Mom hated those windows.

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  5. The "universal window crank," c'est moi. Personally I hate washing windows. :-)

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