Help! Open the Window!


That 70-degree day we had recently gave us such an unexpected sense of warm weather that the kids and I went off the deep end. (Yes, they would have had their swimming suits on if there had been an opportunity.) Everything we had wanted to do and couldn’t during the cold weather came to us in our daydreams and we wanted to get outside and do it all.

The kids braved the chilly morning with bare legs as though they could force the promise of sunshine and warm air into being. I carried our sweeper and a bucket full of every car cleaning essential you can think of out to the driveway. I’ve been waiting for the first warm day to really clean the inside of my new, used car and personalize it with a few things that might make it seem more like mine.

The sunlight struck the west side of our house all afternoon, turning it into the hotbox we hadn’t known since last summer. When I came back inside after doing the car, it stunned me. I had forgotten this kind of heat.

I hurried to the window most easy to open – the one over the kitchen sink. This was one of those times I hated being short. I can rarely reach the things in my cupboards let alone reaching over the sink to raise a window. I set up the stool.

The spring-loaded tabs on the bottom of the glass panes were frustrating. They either caught where they weren’t supposed to, scaring me that they could drop and likely smash my fingers, or they pinned so tightly into the slots made for them that they wouldn’t budge.

Instead of telling you the choice words that I called out through the open window for all the neighbors to hear, I’ll quote Kathie of the comic pages, “Aaauuwck!”

I managed the switch – storm panes up, screen down, fresh air minimal.

I made the rounds to turn on all the ceiling fans and as I pulled on the one over the kitchen table I noticed Lloyd, our cat, was on the table stretching to chew on a plant. He turned toward me expecting to be cuffed down, but I could only stare. The little “0” that his open mouth made startled me – he was panting. That look between us brought understanding. We both needed water.

I put fresh water in his bowl, drank a glass myself, and went back out to clean up my car stuff. Luckily, I forgot to close the car windows until bedtime. For the first time in months, my bare arms felt the night air as I looked up at a full moon.


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