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It's time for wide open windows

It's only June 1, but I'm seeing signs of summer everywhere around me. There's the pile of flip-flops by the back door. A wet beach towel hanging on a hook to dry. The smell of fresh cut grass in the air.

And a screaming passenger leaping from the backseat of my (thankfully) parked car after we have spotted two wasps flying inside the rear window.

(Funny, she can't move nearly that quickly in the morning.)

Yes, so amid the frenzy of end-of-school-year field trips, projects, concerts and exams, it's time to settle into a different routine.

Odd as this may sound, dealing with windows on a daily basis is part of it.

My day begins by walking downstairs and opening windows in the front and back of the house. Then I slide open the screened door leading to the patio.

My great-aunt called this "changing the air." We close these first-floor windows again whenever we leave the house, but this opening-up task is something I enjoy.

For my great-aunt, this "changing the air" was often accompanied by sweeping – kitchen, hallway, porch. Swish, swish, swish. The start of a new day!

You won't find me sweeping at dawn, but I do enjoy opening the front door, grabbing the newspaper and stepping outside to water our potted plants.

But back to the windows. We have about 20 of them, some with issues. Some stick. Some squeak or groan when we open them. Some have cracked grids or tiny holes in the screens. Too many have dog nose prints.

I would like to think of these issues as personality quirks. These windows are far more interesting – or at least more challenging – than our newer replacement ones.

I once met a woman who took it upon herself to refinish the double-hung windows in her old home, including stripping frames, replacing cracked panes, replacing putty, priming, painting, re-roping – you name it.

Wow. And we have trouble just keeping ours clean.

Our pets have their favorite windows for keeping an eye on the neighborhood.

This means we also make the proper adjustments for them. We make sure the window seat in our daughter's room is clear for the dog. And the window seat in the den is clear for the cat. I'm sure they appreciate this.

I don't know about your house, but the second-story windows are a hot topic in the warm-weather months.

We prefer to keep them open whenever we can, which means that weather forecasts must be checked.

Is it going to rain? What are the chances? Should we risk it? After all, it isn't really summer until we accidentally leave a window open during a downpour – and this sometimes even happens when we are home.

I only wish the rain could remove the dog nose prints.