Washing Windows

Keep it Real Wednesday

September 1, 2021

Washing Windows

A friend was over the other day and Rosemary was sharing stories. It’s been a while since I heard this one, so I listened intently, and I recalled the story from my own vantage point.

In the 1970’s we lived in Greensboro North Carolina. My grandmother (Rosemary’s mother) lived with us and was experiencing bouts of intermittent dementia. Coinciding with her dementia my Grandmother also had a wicked sick sense of Irish humor. 

Case in point.

One day, my grandmother asked Rosemary to wash the outside of her bedroom windows. She said it was dirty and she wasn’t able to see the beautiful trees through the window.  Oh, I should also mention my grandmother’s bedroom was on the 2nd floor!  According to my mother, she carefully climbed out the window, stood on the first-floor roof of the house and started to wash the window.  Within seconds, my grandmother shut the window, locked it, waved at my mother, and walked away.

There stood Rosemary, on the roof with a bucket and rags and nowhere to go. We lived in a woodsy area with a very long driveway so it would be impossible to get anyone’s attention in the neighborhood.  So, Rosemary sat for hours until she saw my brother and I drive up the driveway coming home from high school. Our mother started frantically waving her hands at us while at the same time, we noticed our grandmother waving out the window with the biggest grin on her face.

My brother and I looked at the scene in front of us with our eyes and mouths wide open, wondering if we could get away with turning around to avoid whatever we were coming home to.  At 17 and 15, this was more than mildly humiliating for us.

But no chance.  We were spotted.

As if it was a normal occurrence, we carefully helped Rosemary off the roof back through the bedroom window in our grandmothers’ room as we watched our grandmother snicker from her chair.  

Fast forward to today, 45 years later, if you ever see me stranded on the roof, you will know that history has repeated itself. 

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