Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Joys of Open Windows and Windows That Open

WHEN IN D.C. I happily stay with a relative who lives in a lovely old home on the west side of town.

I couldn't ask for a better location or a kinder place to base myself while on the East coast often going back and forth to New York City. My ever-solicitous and erudite host carries on with his own life and leaves me to mine. We often come together over breakfast or dinner sharing meals, good conversation and lots of laughs. He's a historian and man-of-letters and I always learn a great deal while in his company and conversation. (We won't talk about who he voted for for president however, though now he's become tremendously disillusioned with The One.)

Anyway, for the past week, my intrepid host has been in California at a wedding and visiting his grown children and grand-children. He most kindly left me in charge of the house, along with Kay, the woman who lives in the downstairs apartment. We get along famously. He calls every day to amuse himself and ask if we've burned down the house yet?

He also likes to tell me how wonderful he thinks the weather in California is and yet how dull and banal he finds the lifestyle.

"I find California perfectly one-dimensional and dull," he assures me early and often. I have no reason to doubt his earnestness.

But getting back to the east coast, Kay, my partner-in-crime, and I have undertaken some household projects long overdue in his absence. Kay has concentrated on landscaping stuff that we all started last spring.

I, on the other hand, have made a great and major breakthrough inside the house and---with the help of a workman I commandeered last week---have managed to pry open all the upstairs windows which have surely been sealed closed for decades!

Though I'd tried in vain to open them for the past year-and-a-half they simply wouldn't budge. Yet with one grand heave, this strong man opened the first, then the second and then all the windows in the upstairs without much effort at all! I'm beside myself to have fresh air flowing through the upstairs and in my room. Cool fresh air that has moved in with finally cooler temperatures! All the stuffienss has disappeared here!

We also sprayed liquid graphite in all the window hardware and on stubborn door locks that were almost impossible to insert a key into. Now things work more smoothly.

Kay meanwhile has taken what time she can to finish landscape work in the yard, and loves to tell me how Karl Rove power-walks by and comments on how great it's looking.

Ah happiness: living on the dull side of town with fresh air in my room, knowing Karl's in the neighborhood!

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