Friday, July 23, 2010
The Pure Pleasure of Hard Work
There's nothing like clean windows. As my grandmother says, "It's a pleasure to see them clean." I appreciated this fact even more so after some recent cleaning jobs with my friend, Cathy.
Earlier in the week I was to meet her at 6:00 a.m. for a cleaning job just up the road from where I live. Early in the morning because the place had no AC. When I arrived, Karen, another fellow worker, directed me as to what needed to be done. The house had recently been emptied and a real estate company needed it cleaned before showing it. "We need to dust from top to bottom and take the windows out to clean both sides of the storms before putting them back in," she instructed. I knew the vacuuming would be last, along with the bathrooms and mopping.
The dusting and vacuuming I was used to, but this was the first someone requested all the windows, inside and out. After one look it was clear why. I don't think some of them had ever been done. Not to mention the painter who never put masking tape down, so that when the trim was painted, it got all over the edges of the windows. Yuck! Dusty cobwebs coated the basement windows on both sides.
I don't even remember how long it took me. I had to clean many of the windows three or four times on each side so there were no streaks. Cathy had a razor blade for going around the edges to scrape off the excess paint. Time consuming, but well worth it. When I returned to the house yesterday, one of the neighbors pulled up in a small pick up truck. "Can I help you?" I asked. An older man with white hair and glasses stepped out, walking towards me.
"I just came by to check on things," he responded.
"I was told to come back and do some more windows. The realtor requested the garage windows be done as well," I explained.
"You ladies did a beautiful job. I thought you took out the glass in the front by the door," he commented.
"They hadn't been done in awhile," I said.
"Probably not since the builder in 1976," he kidded.
Soon enough, the friendly man was on his way and I continued with cleaning. While scraping off more paint and sticky residue from one of the storms, I thought to myself, "This is a lot of work, but they sure do look nice when they're finished."
I began to ponder how it might be similar to the work and love involved in caring for others. Many lives are tarnished, beaten from the storms of life and entangled by spiders' webs, but what a pleasure to see all of that icky residue wiped away and the gleaming luster restored. Just look at the difference in the windows. When the glass is clean, all kinds of vibrant colors can shine through, lit up by the beaming rays of the sun.
Note: the images posted above are not the actual windows of the house recently cleaned