I surprised and impressed myself this weekend. September 20th was the three year anniversary of when we bought our house, making this the house Marga and I have lived in together longest. The biggest reparation that our house has needed since well before we bought it is to sand and varnish the outside window frames. All new houses built around here are built with either PVC or aluminum windows, but our house still has the older wooden windows. Several months ago, we replaced our three worst windows with new aluminum ones, but we decided we couldn’t wait any longer to give the remaining wooden windows more protection against the elements. We should have taken before and after pictures, but I didn’t think to do so. The difference is amazing.
I wouldn’t say that I have a fear of heights. I rather enjoyed looking down from the Empire State Building, for example. But I have had several nightmares that involve precipitous ledges. Not falling, necessarily, but being in a very dangerous place. Part of what make humans such good survivors is the ability to imagine, very vividly, the consequences of actions before deciding which to take. I have a very, very vivid idea of what it would be like to fall from my seventh floor apartment window. I can feel the terror, the wind rushing through my hair, and the realization that these are the last sensations I will ever have. Frankly, it freaks me the hell out. When I lean out the window, I’m always very aware that my center of gravity and a good portion of my mass is clearly inside the house. As soon as there is any doubt, I’m all the way back in.
So when it came time to paint the panels above the window frames this weekend, it really sucked being the tallest family member.