Chasing the light in a world without Glass Wax – Eagle News Online
There were, as I recall, nine windows on our side of the house in Brooklyn. This will include the wired glass panel on the door under the stoop as well as the small window over the bathroom.
My mom is a bear about keeping babies clean. I don’t remember the schedule he kept, but I do remember he used a product called Glass Wax. You see, the cleaner, this Glass Wax thing, will go on as an opaque film that you then wipe off, leaving a sparkling piece of glass. You can manipulate it by writing on it, drawing pictures, etc. As you apply the Glass Wax or strip it. You can only imagine how mystical it may seem in the mind of an enticing child.
When time allowed, that woman performed what I call a showcase hygiene trick: She would sit by the windows on the second floor so that while her legs were inside, the rest of her was outside, ably motion of the double hung windows up and down to get to the grim Brooklyn window dirt from the outside, a gymnastic act of washing the windows outside, hanging on… well, I have no idea how it was made of my Mother. but I want to do it too.
I’m the kind of kid who wants to be as old as possible, and my strategy to get to this goal is to learn as much as possible from adults about how to “grow up.” I actually begged my mom to allow me to iron. He let me start ironing my father’s handkerchiefs. I wanted to help him clean up, so I pointed to dusting all the things that were under things, like the legs of the table and the kind of legs that held the sofa. Washing windows with Glass Wax is vigorous to a child.
Of course, I grew up, and washing windows as a fun thing quickly disappeared into the “I hate doing windows” category, especially when Glass Wax disappeared from the shelves. I researched Glass Wax and there are alternative products you can buy online, some promoting the fact that, with stencils, you can decorate your holiday windows with them. You can also buy an old rusty can of the original for almost $ 40.
But, washing the windows has lost its luster, its mystery – a ship sailed with Glass Wax.
Why not worry about the windows in my house? Thus, my Mom had nine windows, two of which were small. In my house, at the latest number there are 27 windows. That number does not include the storm windows attached to each other, nor does it include those in the basement.
Marcellus is nothing like the coal heating systems that Brooklyn’s 1940s and 50s fed to pollute the air and store pollution in windows, but there is ordinary dust and grime on the road, particularly on the high streets of traffic to add a layer of patina to my windows.
I tried, as a young homemaker, to clean them all up, but eventually gave up. Without Glass Wax, I chase the drawings on every attempt. I tried newspaper and water, newspaper and vinegar and water, plain water and a squeegee … even the blue stuff in a spray bottle. And, about the outside of anything on the second floor, not a coincidence. So, many years ago, I hired someone to clean them, all 54. Coming to the point where it’s hard to judge if the sun is out – they’re so dirty.
It’s worth a fortune! Comparing the cost of washing my windows to buying my first car … The bill is equal to half the cost of my 1963 Volkswagen.
I tried all sorts of enticing products for cleaning second story windows, including a sock attachment and a contraption with a long handle with a sponge for washing the outside while inside. Nothing worked. Last week I bought a pale green microfiber cloth from a Norwegian company that really cleans beautifully without any kind of chemicals other than water. But, it still doesn’t help on the outside.
As I negotiated with myself about cleaning the inside and getting someone to do the outside, I hung mirrors everywhere – eight in total – strategically placed to enhance what the sunlight had gone through.
Chasing the light, I still remained in my mother’s amazement and resigned in the knowledge I couldn’t achieve her determination and courage when it came to the windows.