I could never live in a cave. Steve assures me that had I grown up in a cave, I could certainly survive there, but I disagree. There is such little light, no air flow and everything feels depressing in a cave. How could I possibly know this? I hear you asking. Well for the last four weeks, I've been living in a cave.
Steve and I knew that the windows of our house needed to be repainted and puttied when we bought the house and moved in four years ago, but after painting the walls, painting the trims, renovating the bathroom, having the kitchen re-done, and painting and knocking out a wall, we were a little done with renovations for a while (not to mention all the backyard stuff we've done). Then we had kids.
Then we had last summer, which was unbelievably hot. And when Bob the Wasp made his usual home in the kitchen again, it was really time for us to begin facing the facts that to survive summer, we needed the windows open, but for child safety, we also needed some way of keeping friendly insects like Bob the Wasp out. Thus began Operation Windows.
We decided we'd do magnetic fly screens, because they seemed easy enough, and would work well with our old school swing out windows. But there is no point sticking magnetic fly screens on windows that need to be repainted, just to have to take them off again when the painting happens. So before the fly screens, we needed to fix the windows.
I had a stack of tradies give me quotes about these windows early in the year. Like in March. Re-painting them in, and out of the frames, weather it was lead paint or not. Then we realised that all our spare single-income-family money was currently tied up in having a second child and the whole thing got put on hold for a while. Thankfully, Centerlink came through with some payments at Tax Return time, and we realised we had the cash.
In the end, we found a guy who would strip the paint off, sand and re-putty the windows for a good amount. We just had to take them out and give them to him. No problems (except for the old screws that kept breaking, or being impossible to get out. So thankful for the help we had to do this!). While they were gone, the plan was to sand and repaint the frames. Steve took a week off work to help out (this means we are officially old). Lots of people babysat Sophie. Everything was in full swing.
Then, the windows didn't come back as we expected them to. They took longer. And when they did come back, the hinges didn't. (Granted, I did need to paint the windows anyway, but it was certainly an inconvenience.) On top of this, when we had gone to Bunnings to get the ply which would cover our window openings for the duration of Operation Windows, the guy (after checking with us three times how we wanted them cut) cut them 4cm too short, and so we have a slight gap a the edge of each window.
This created a nice draft in Sophie's room predominately, and has given her several colds over the last four weeks. Which she has shared with most of us at various point. Including Rachel. The latest cold has come with a nasty cough, and it has been pretty sad to lie awake at night listening to two little girls (one of whom is only four months old) cough. Not to mention that I'm feeling too tired to paint the last eight windows that are sitting under the house waiting for me. It's hard work to look after two sick girls.
Saturday, two days ago, we managed to put the first set of windows back in. The dining room is now flooded with light. Oh, what a difference it makes. Not only can we open the windows at will (without the aid of a drill and a second set of hands to hold the ply steady), the breeze comes in, the light shines through. Everything is that much better and that much brighter.
I have stopped and gazed in admiration at these windows several times in the last two days. They are shiny and white. They let in the outside. They function as they are supposed to. Hooray! Windows! I could never live in a cave. It's just too dark when God has given us such wonderful light.