There are 16 windows in the home I bought last year in Portland, Maine, which is only a little older than I am, built in 1899. The 16 windows were also that old. Some opened, some didn’t, some were missing screens or storm windows, one had only a storm window and two that did open, sometimes closed unexpectedly with a crash that sent Ollie the cat for cover under the bed.
And so last month, at a cost that choked me to write the check, I had all the windows replaced with the new, vinyl sort that meet Energy Star requirements and can be cleaned by opening them inward.
These are a marvel of modern engineering and ease of use, but more important to me and Ollie is that they all open now and all have screens. I get the benefit of pleasant sea breezes and Ollie can watch the world go by from every vantage point in the house. I am certain he would like to join the many neighborhood cats who are allowed to wander, but – well, too bad, Ollie; you’re stuck with ka-ka-ka-ing at the birds, some of which are as large as Ollie himself.
Sometimes Ollie will deign to acknowledge me when I call his name, but his attention is on the street life, especially first thing in the morning while I am posting to the blog and answering email.
As tightly as these new windows fit the frames, some bugs do get in and now Ollie has become the great spotted bug hunter. He can spot them from three rooms away and none escape his pounce.
Another modern innovation I had known nothing of for 40 years in New York City is having my own washer and drier. Want something clean right now? No need to go down the block to drop it off at the laundromat; just take ten steps from the kitchen and it’s done within an hour.
What I had not anticipated, however, is how much I loathe folding laundry. In New York, it was returned to me ready to put into drawers. Now, in Maine, that I’ve got over the thrill of having clean clothes on a moment’s notice, I am prone to leaving it in the drier until, with a sigh, I set myself to the dismal task of folding.
Such was the case last week when I opened the drier to find a splendid surprise, big enough to give me the impetus to retrieve the laundry with a little more speed in the future. Can you tell from this photo what I’m talking about?
Here’s a closeup. They tell us money doesn’t grow on trees, but maybe it does grow in the drier. Or perhaps it’s just payment for all those socks the drier eats to keep itself in working order.
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Betsy Devine writes the Portrait of a 1918 Blogger.]