Saturday, August 25, 2007

The View from My Window

Grad classes started for me on Wednesday. I had been looking for info on the class right up until last Sunday when I finally wrote my advisor and asked exactly when classes started and when mine met. She responded immediately so I never checked the on-line schedule again.

Wednesday night I found out that a book had been assigned, about a quarter of the class had the book, and it had to be sent from a small town in southeast Kansas up to the big city. Even worse, next Wednesday's assignment was from the book -- reading two chapters and then writing from an lesson that was only printed in the book. Bah!

I rushed home, ordered the book by next day mail -- and it came this morning (which was a day late but I'm still not a dollar short, so okay, no complaints). I delved immediately into the chapters and found the book, not exactly exciting, but sensible -- which is probably the best that can be hoped for in a grad level text. At the end of the reading I started the writing process. About three hours in I began batting flies. It's deep summer here in the heartland and I live in a hermetically sealed house fueled by cold air-conditioning. Flies do not get a chance to enter my home.

Now here's the backfill. This week, after years of dithering, Hubby gathered his crew and they tore off all the ugly siding that Hubby had put on the front of the house in the 1980's (not the sides or back -- he only put the ugly stuff on the front -- he painted the rest and it looks fine -- but the front of our home slowly weathered to ghetto hideous because he never bothered to stain said front paneling). Then in the early 1990's someone shot a b-b pellet through the smaller front window and we never replaced it. The glass cracked and cracked, until finally half the glass fell into the front yard. The dogs clawed the front door into muddy tatters. The garage door began to disintegrate - and since it was the only thing painted, the paint started to peel. Last year, for a reason only known to Hubby, he pulled all the guttering down along the front of the house -- and then the aneurysm hit and whatever had been planned was put on indefinite hold. I have never complained about the front of the house, believing that my griping would give him cause to complain about my housekeeping - and the less said about that the better.

But on Thursday I came home to a Pepto Bismal colored home-front. When I recovered enough to find my voice, I realized that what I was looking at was insulation. The new paneling was neatly stacked in the driveway, with the huge dumpster that had also been delivered. Wow! The front also has had awnings over the windows -- large metal things that gave us shade from the afternoon sun -- but they were over 50 years old. In the front yard lay the awnings, with the tops all covered in slimy green gunk (which, thankfully, I hadn't been able to see from inside the house or the street).

The view from inside the house was completely different with the awnings gone. The sun poured in -- and it was bright all day long. I could see way up the street and way down. The big picture window has an incredible view which I had never realized before - and I've owned this house since 1974.

On Friday more insulation and some paneling went up. This morning the crew was hard at work by 7:30 a.m. Thankfully, the doggies know the crew and only barked when the pounding sounded like the postman was trying to get inside the front room. I scurried into the office and went to work on my paper, ignoring the din.

However, the flies got annoying so I finally wandered out from lair -- and found all the windows off the front of the house. The kitchen had a brand new window already installed, a lovely, clean white framed window with screens and inside locks - and EVERYTHING I've never had before.

But in the living room the picture window was gone. Open to the street was my whole house. The neighbor kids were congregated in my yard, peering in. The lady two doors down waved at me as I stood, peering out, in my nightgown, hair uncombed, teeth unbrushed, scratching. I had gotten so used to the privacy of my little domain, windows with awnings, covered with shades AND curtains, it had not occurred to me if I could see out -- THEY could see in.

New things are good, right? I've just got to make some adjustments.

No comments: