search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts


Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,631 other subscribers


Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

When I was very young we lived in a small, Cape Cod-style house at the end of a long dirt driveway. I remember acres of overgrown fields and the massive weathered barn. Twice a year, we prepared the little house for the changing season. My father would designate an entire Saturday to cleaning and changing the windows. Thermal pane glass was not yet ubiquitous;  heavy-framed screens were installed when the air warmed in the Spring, only to be replaced with storm windows in the Fall . The removal of the dark mesh screens allowed the sun to stream though the glass. If all had gone well and the second layer of windows was clean, each became a crisp portal to the changing leaves.

Sometimes it was an adult party with a neighbors pitching in for the chore. First, the unwieldy wooden framed windows were hauled down from the second floor of the barn. Children were pressed into action to remove the grime, washing them with hoses and  old newspapers. Twelve months had erased the knowledge that kids with hoses are lousy window washers. Games spontaneously broke out and eventually, the moms would take over the task.DSC_1656

The upstairs of the barn was a wondrously dangerous world. The floor was rotted in spots; holes illuminated the long drop to concrete twelve feet below. We were never allowed there for obvious safety reasons, which only made it more desirable. It smelled of old hay and dead mice. Cobwebs curtained the windows and corners. Pulleys, ropes, lumber, assorted buckets and tools littered the stronger parts of the floor.

Each twelve-pane panel was then hoisted up a ladder to hang on the hardware which held it in place against the house. There was a lot of precarious balancing and colorful language involved. There were double-hung, permanent windows as well. The inside glass was easy to clean, the side that faced the elements required either contortionists to hang out over the window ledge or the help of the person on the ladder prior to installing the storm windows. I don’t remember exactly how many windows the house had; enough to make this job monumental.

Eventually we moved to a “modern” house with thermal pane glass and light, aluminum screens. I’m sure my parents were relieved to give up the annual window challenge. But it seems a right of Autumn disappeared over time with burning leaf piles and trips to the mysterious, dark, upstairs of the barn.

As much as I complain about this huge house I ramble about in, there are rituals to home ownership I adore. Armed with window cleaner and newspapers I worked my way from room to room, removing the screens and washing the windows before locking them down against the coming chill. Being a rather mindless task, my thoughts wander, remembering cleaning windows in that little home of my childhood.  Letting in more light is always a good thing…



18 comments on “Storm Windows

  1. Doppleganger says:

    I love this entry! You are describing my family’s ritual in Vt. The dangling from ladders, the “lively language” which accompanied the ritual, the precarious balance no one even knew they possessed… the smell of the old wooden garage is even similar. Dark scary place that instead of hay smelled like that odd combination of oil and gas for the mower, old wood, paint, must, dust and of course the mice. Despite the childhood “inconvenience” of being commandeered in to this ritual against our will, It is truly one that I will cherish and remember as a Family Event for ever.
    Thank you for this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of your home in VT Doppleganger and knew this would ring true for you! We all had this ritual and as Laura commented, it is interesting that what was once a dreaded chore is now a warm memory of family and friends. Thank you!


  2. Touring NH says:

    I always dread closing the storm windows. It puts an end to the days when it is just barely warm enough outside to warrant a little fresh air inside. Isn’t it interesting how the chores of “yesterday” have now become cherished memories. A time when family and often friends came together for the good of all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Laura. And I love your comment about the chores becoming cherished memories! Thank you!


  3. Tom says:

    More light is key to windows in our minds (wish I had storm windows in mine).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Words of wisdom, Tom. Funny but wise!


  4. I remember hanging many of those old storm windows! I don’t really miss them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I just miss the ritual not the chore. It all looks so ideal in hindsight!


  5. Although we didn’t have a barn, I have similar memories of removing the screens, scrubbing them before storing in the garage for winter. And then the following spring, washing the windows all over again. We welcomed the change of seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We took the time to welcome the seasons, didn’t we Joyce. Not a bad idea!


  6. julieallyn says:

    Light – lovely light!

    Your post took me down memory lane as well. Loved this: Twelve months had erased the knowledge that kids with hoses are lousy window washers. True dat for many a chore, eh?

    Nicely done, Martha, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Julie. Your kind words make me blush. So many chores started out with best intentions but always proved best done by adults.


  7. Marie Keates says:

    What lovely memories. We never had screens or storm windows. Ours were just Windows with stained glass in the little lights at the top of the big round bays. When we moved back here the wood was so rotten it rained one night and the water dripped through the wood into the bedroom. Now we have double glazed units and the lovely stained glass is gone. I miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stained glass must have been wonderful with the light shifting through it, Marie.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. badfish says:

    Storm windows! I had completely forgotten. And summer screens. I hated helping with that chore. Or maybe all chores. Who wants to do chores when you can be riding your bike. I’m so glad that now we have double windows in places that are too hot or too cold. Lovely post…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you badfish, from reading your posts it seems you still would rather be riding your bike – in Bali! Thank you for dropping by.


      1. badfish says:

        Let me see: installing storm windows or riding around paradise. Hmmmmm. A hard choice to make.

        Liked by 1 person

Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Pragma Synesi - interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson


Oh, the Places We See . . .

Never too old to travel!

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Going to Seed in Zones 5b-6a

The Adventures of Southern Gardeners Starting Over in New England

I Walk Alone

The World One Step At A Time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order. News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling


Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.


Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. -

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Changes Everything

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Inspiration for meeting life's challenges.

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude


Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

Sharon Hewitt Rawlette, PhD


Diana Tibert

~ I write -

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East


Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List



International Cowgirl Blog

%d bloggers like this: