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Exceptional Gratitude

12 Nov

I love talking to children.

The perspective of a child is fresh, innocent and completely out of the box.

And, at times, their view of the world is hilarious.

This evening, my favorite 3-year old noisily made her way up the stairs to my hallway.

I heard her coming, so I went to the door and waited for her to knock. When she knocked, I crouched down, flung the door open and hollered, “WHO’S THAT KNOCKING ON MY DOOR????”

The Munchkin dissolved into uproarious giggles.

As I made a pathetic attempt at cooking her some supper, I said to her, “Do you know what I am exceptionally grateful for?”

She ignored me.

Her mother said, “Since she’s not responding to your question, Mari, what are you exceptionally grateful for?”

I said, “Windows.”

No, I’m not talking the Microsoft operating system. That version of Windows baffles me.

The Munchkin’s Mom said, “Oh, I know — I can’t BELIEVE you lived in a place without windows….”

That’s right.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how I had “come up in the world” when I moved to my upstairs apartment. The apartment I had before had one window in it — a tiny, dirty, cobwebby little thing that was actually underground. But, my apartment was also underground, so the window was actually above my head and it was enclosed in a little window well and thus, I never got any sunshine in my apartment. Not even a little bit.

Prior to that, I lived in an upstairs apartment that had 3 drafty windows that were nailed shut. One was in the bathroom, one over the kitchen sink and the other one at the head of my bed. And they all looked out on the side of a building. I might as well have not had any windows.

(On a side note- drafty windows that are nailed shut are the most pointless things I’ve ever dealt with. They don’t keep the cold out in the winter, but they keep the hot in in the summer and it’s absolutely miserable.)

Before living there, I lived in my friend’s basement — and the window situation was the exact same as it was in the basement of my current building. It was nice during storms (except for poor Java, the dog, who was terrified of storms and who always wanted to snuggle with me — I’m not THAT much of a dog lover!), but again, no sun light.

For over 4 years before that, I lived in the dorms in college. Each of the rooms I lived in had windows across one wall — but the wall was concrete and the windows were at about chin-height. I remember making an effort to look out those windows only once during my entire stay.

It was a cold, cold winter night and the last thing I remember was snuggling in under the quilt my grandma had made for me. I awoke at about 1:30 in the morning (I know — I was a completely lame college student), standing on my tip-toes next to the window, trying to peek through the slats of the venetian blinds.

And I thought to myself, “WHAT am I DOING?”

Of course, I swiftly got my half-frozen self back into bed and was asleep in seconds.

I lived in places with either no windows at all, windows that were completely unaccessible, or windows that had no view/were nailed shut/were drafty for a total of 10 years.

This all changed 5 months ago.

And I am exceptionally grateful.

During those 10 years without windows, I would take a wild guess as to what the weather conditions might be. (I had no TV, no radio reception, no internet and smartphones hadn’t been invented yet.) I asked my coworkers to call me if I was going to need extra time to dig the car out. I dressed in layers so I could shed a few if it got too warm, and I brought extra shoes and socks with me just in case there might be a flash flood. (One of the places I lived was literally 10 feet from a river that had been known to flood, covering the area for blocks around with a few inches to a foot or more of water. I didn’t know this until after I’d moved in.)

My current place has 5 wonderful windows.

One window looks out on a tree that’s planted precariously close to said window. Not much of a view there. Another window looks out on the gable roof of the building next door. You can also see the doorstep of one of the neighboring houses and watch the smoke roll lazily out of the chimney on a cold morning.

The other three windows look out on the side of the building next door. But, between my window and the brick wall next door, there is a large grassy area. You can see birds fluttering about in the spring and watch the newly fallen leaves float through the air in the fall.

And, on a crisp winter morning, you can look out and see the new-fallen snow. It’s a beautiful sight.

During the past 10 years, I’ve been able to see snow swirling in the air, but I haven’t been able to look out on a calm, peaceful morning and see a winter wonderland.

And so, I am exceptionally grateful for my 5 windows.

And, for my favorite Munchkin who didn’t care one iota that I was so grateful for my windows.

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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Current Events

 

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