Cleaning Windows

When I was growing up, I used to spend a lot of time at my Aunt Edith and Uncle Chapel’s house in Reidland, Kentucky.  They owned an auto glass shop in downtown Paducah.  Aunt Edith was an elementary school teacher, and I guess she was the first one in the family to become a teacher.  Several of the Thomasson descendants, including my little sister, have since become teachers, principals and coaches.

Each summer, I would go to their house for a week and help Aunt Edith wash all the windows.  And, I’m here to tell you, their house had a million windows and they were those little square windows surrounded by wood. I would usually go down there on Sunday, go to church with them Sunday night and we would get up bright and early on Monday to start cleaning the windows.

I loved their house though; it was the neatest thing to me.  She had a bar in the kitchen and huge stools and one of my favorite things to do was sit on one of those stools and eat.  They also had a huge fireplace in the living room and I loved when it was cool enough to build a fire.  When I visited, I got to sleep in Phyllis’ room; she was their daughter who was off at nursing school. Aunt Edith had “Highlights for Children” books which had puzzles, stories, word games and pages to be colored.

On Saturday, before I got there, Uncle Chapel would take down all the storm windows and put them in the basement to be cleaned.  Aunt Edith would mix vinegar and water to clean the windows, and boy did that stuff stink. We didn’t use paper towels either; I don’t know if paper towels even existed back then. We used cotton rags; one we used to wash the windows and one to dry the windows. While it was still cool in the morning, we went out and cleaned the windows on the outside of the house; and once the sun came out, we moved to the basement to clean the storm windows.  And, it would take us all week to get those puppies washed.  Aunt Edith always checked to see if I had left streaks on any of the windows and I generally had to redo some of them. We took plenty of breaks while we washed the windows and she had good snacks too, snacks that we didn’t get at home.

And, during the week, we would go shopping for groceries and such; and, on Wednesday night, I would go to church with them.  Uncle Chapel would take us out to eat too.

So, by the end of the week, my fingers would be so sore from getting in all those little corners. But Aunt Edith always rewarded me for coming to her house and helping her with the windows.  She would either give me money or we would go to Paducah and she would buy me a new dress.  What she didn’t know was that I would have done it for nothing; I just loved going to her house.  Even after I grew up, I was always close to my Aunt Edith and I still miss her.

See ya next Wednesday.