Saturday Single No. 312

It’s a gloomy day here under the oaks: Gray sky and damp air, with the possibility of rain lingering. We had two young fellows working here last week – sons of one of the Texas Gal’s co-workers – and they raked up twenty bags of leaves, but we still have more leaves than one can count lying brown on the lawn. We’ll likely have to call on the young folk again or hope that the landlord comes over with his lawn sweeper.

There are, however, plenty of autumnal tasks the two of us accomplish on our own. As soon as I get done here in the Echoes In The Wind studios, I’ll pull a ladder and two storm windows from the garage and exchange the storm windows for the screen windows that allow us summer breezes in the dining room and the kitchen.

I’ve thought for almost four years now about adding a living room window to those two as a way to increase the evening breezes through the house, but then I look at the out-of-control spirea bush sitting in front of the house on the east side. I’ve tangled with spirea before, over on Kilian Boulevard, and it’s never been pleasant. So this last spring, I left the storm window in place behind the spirea, and we coped – as we have since we moved here – with two windows for fresh air.

It takes no more than twenty minutes to change out the two windows. That’s the benefit of having central air. During the 1960s on Kilian Boulevard, the semi-annual changing of the windows took most of the day. There were, if memory serves me, fourteen windows that needed to be swapped out twice a year: screens down and storms up in autumn and the reverse in spring. And about half of those were for second-story windows, which meant Dad spent a lot of time high on the ladder on those Saturdays, a thought that still scares me.

I don’t go nearly so high on the ladder for my window work. (Cleaning the gutters, which is an every-two-year proposition not scheduled for this autumn, is another story altogether.) There is, nevertheless, a tension in handling the storm windows, knowing that hauling large sheets of glass up a ladder carries some risk no matter how far up one is going.

So even though changing out our two windows is neither a difficult nor time-consuming task, it does carry with it some stress. And I will be pleased when the task is done and I can settle into a normal autumn Saturday of grocery shopping, reading and keeping an eye on a few college football games. May your Saturday be just as pleasant.

And to mark the only major task of the day, here’s “Window Dreamin’” by Chicago. It comes from the album Chicago 13, and it’s today’s Saturday Single.


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