There’s nothing like clean windows

Farm Forum

“Ain’t it great? A body can actually see something for a change. Uffdah! That took some work, but it was worth it. Don’t you think so, too?”

I waited for a response; but received none. Fortunately, my ever present Tootie dog was there with her tail wiggle to thank me for my efforts. But, where was everyone else?

Humpf! My beloved troops had mysteriously vamoosed the premises leaving me with only the dog for support. Sob! Oh, for the good old days, when it took the whole family to accomplish this fall activity. And the story goes like this…

Storm window trauma

In the good old days, it took mom and dad and we five girls to help prepare our two story farm house for the advent of the cold north winds. It wasn’t simply washing the windows inside and outside like I do presently, but it involved some real he-man arm muscles and some skilled feminine expertise.

For example, mother was in charge of preparing the storm windows for the winter winds. She would carefully wash them, putty them, paint them, and place them in order on the side of the house where they were to be installed.

Then it was father’s turn to arm wrestle the heavy beasts into place, especially the storm windows located on the second story. Now, cajoling father to do this, at times, took a little bit of coaxing. Possibly, a fresh apple pie or his favorite sauerkraut meal served as a good coaxing mechanism. Mother was an expert in this category and always timed everything perfectly.

Mother was also an expert in choosing the day to put the storm windows on the second story. She usually chose a warm Sunday afternoon when everyone was home. The dinner would be a feast with one of her super-duper desserts to entice us. However, no one got seconds on any part of the meal until all the storm windows were in place. Both the storms windows on the first floor and the second floor had to be securely in place and one more important item — the dreaded yukky screen windows had to be cleaned and stored properly. Yuck! Yuck! And more Yuck!

The yucky screen windows

The screen windows belonged to the younger set of sisters: namely, Lois, Jane and Marie. These windows were lighter to handle, and thus we could easily carry them around to the back of the house and rinse them off with the hose. Then after rinsing them, we had to use soap and water and a good brush and get rid of all the yucky, dirty cobwebs. After several more rinses with the hose, it was time for mother’s inspection. Most of the time, we passed inspection, but the part I hated was what our two older sisters did to us little girls. They were what I call down right mean to us.

You see, Wanda and Lou Ann got to climb up the tall extension ladder and bring down every screen and deposit those dirty screens right on us little ones. I used the term deposit. Actually, if mom wasn’t looking, they threw those dirty, yucky, cobwebby screens right at us. And sometimes they even laughed and hollered, “Bombs away!” Humpf!

Pulling the wool over

And another thing, those big sisters even got to climb back up the ladder a second time and wash the interior windows before dad put the storm windows on. They made such a big to-do about this feat. You would have thought it was a special job or something.

When I got old enough to take over their so-called cherished job, I found out how they had ‘pulled the wool over’ on us little ones. Climbing up and down that ladder was actually hard work, but tricking the little sisters into thinking otherwise made the hard work fun for the big girls. I guess you’d have to call this family fun at its best.


As I washed and polished my windows this fall, I was indeed thrilled to have clean windows again. And I was also thrilled not to have to deal with heavy storm windows and yucky screens. But, I sure did miss the camaraderie of the old time family fun we had from yester year. Hm? Maybe I should invite my sisters over for some fresh apple pie, reminisce about those good old days, and let them admire my super-duper clean windows. Maybe I will rub it in just a tad; especially to the two older sisters. Tee-hee.

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. Email her at