Get The Picture? By Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 5, 2009

Sherry Hopkins

Window-washer frustrated but glass is sparkling clean

As I made my way to the shop to get the step ladder, a little nagging noise in my head (sounding a lot like Dear ol’ Don) kept reminding me to NOT GET ON LADDERS OR CLEAN WINDOWS while home alone.

But I persevered. “How bad could it be?” I thought. It’s just the bathroom window and it’s so small. And if I succeed Dear Don should have no problem with me continuing.

As I shifted the ladder into a secure spot I felt a little pang of trepidation. After all I’m not the steadiest person on two flat feet. Should I climb a ladder?

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I went into the bathroom and cleaned all I could from that vantage point. I removed the storm window with relative ease and cleaned it as well. I went back outside and climbed the ladder. The morning sun was shining down intensely making me perspire with little effort. I forged ahead and cleaned all the outside windows. Everything looked fine. I was proud that I had almost accomplished my goal for the morning.

Now it was time to reassemble the window. This is the part that would normally take two people. But there was only me, so I trudged on. I put the top storm window in its place and then the screen fell out.

Now the top window would not stay in place because it needed the screen to rest upon. However, I needed a third hand to hold the top window at the top while I worked the screen back into place. It needed to be shimmied and coerced to slide easily into the same track as the storm window. These windows are old and they have weathered and pitted and the tracks have long lost their ability to adjust smoothly. Wish I had remembered that part when I started this morning. I was now drenched in sweat, swatting at dirt daubers and leaning precariously over the ladder.

I’ve been beat. I can’t do it. I’m at a total loss as to how this works. I keep going to the other windows inside and out trying to figure out the exact way each window and screen fits. I just don’t know. I don’t get it.

I am a goal-oriented girl and I like complete and immediate results. This has not been a good morning.

My back is burned, my knuckles are scraped and bleeding, my patience is spent. My feelings are hurt and I want to cry.

The new paint job on the trim around the windows is now in need of touch up. But… my bathroom window is sparkling, blindingly clean in fact. At least the ones that are back where they belong. The window and screen that I couldn’t fit back into place are now hidden in my closet until an appropriate time to inform Dear Don. Boy, he’s gonna be mad. This is certainly not a good way to entice him to clean the rest of the windows.

This project has gotten out of hand. It seemed like a simple request, clean windows. But believe me when I say it is not. I remember my Mama saying that she once had someone offer to clean them all for $300. That sounds to me like a small price to pay. I’m closing the curtains on the window so the obvious is not so, well, obvious. I’m also hoping for the best when I tell Dear Don. Maybe I’ll try at the ballgame tonight. Surely he wouldn’t pitch a fit in front of all those kids.

 You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at