We started re-glazing the old windows in this family farmhouse late yesterday afternoon.
There were two panes in one of the windows in the upstairs-guest-bedr00m-turned-sewing-room that fell to the ground back in the summer, but miraculously they did not break.
This is the very window, photographed in the spring. A thick carpet of periwinkle buffered the fall of the glass panes, and the old glass must be quite durable.
It's been too hot, or we were too rushed with deadlines to actually start reglazing the windows in this circa 1870 farmhouse. Some of the procastinating was my fear of the unknown, having never glazed windows before.
So with a forecast of 35 degrees Farenheit for early this morning, it was time to get those old bubbled glass panes back in their proper spot and for me to jump into reglazing with both feet.
I've volunteered to reglaze every window in this house (and anywhere else on the farm that needs it). It's a frugal step, but I also like tedious, repetative work. Well, maybe I don't automatically LIKE tedious work, but I know how to talk myself into thinking that I am enjoying it. *grin*
What I did not expect was to cry as I scraped oversized layers of putty from the panes. I cried as I tried to explain to Gordon and Unc why I was crying over the window on my work table. I cried while trying to put this into words last night. (I'm finishing this post Tuesday afternoon)
The emotions are still raw and not quite captured in words in my mind, but as I struggled with the layers of old caulk, I thought about the tenacious, weathered family from which I come.
The erosion of the old wood on the outside of this second story window brought to my mind the family stories of the natural disasters that left footprints on this farm. How many storms with driving rain have pummeled these windows? How many ice storms, snow storms, hail storms?
This 141 year old window is quite fragile when compared to tumultuous events in those 141 years of protecting this family. Up here on the second floor, the windows have received less attention and more temperature fluctations, so life's toll is easier to see.
So, why did I cry over the mundane task of reseating a couple of window panes? The contrast of our little petty family dramas of the last couple of weeks compared to the scars and erosion of the 141 year old wood in this 141 year old window...is what made me cry.
The three of us in this house had gotten caught up in a silly merry go round of "he said, he did, he didn't, it's his fault, it's not my fault"...when the REAL battle was and is how God continues to protect us and provide for us as a family in a never-ending script of quite daunting problems.
God's constant protection could be illustrated by these fragile, beautiful old windows that have never failed to protect us. If the panes of old wavy glass were representative of faith, then our view of the world is filtered through the intangible of faith just as my view of the falling leaves that I am watching right now through the panes of this old wavy glass... is slightly altered because of the unique character of the old glass.
SO in the weeks and months ahead as I tackle this re-glazing process one half window at a time, I will be removing the old "scar tissue" of cracked putty and paint. Then as I clean each beautiful pane of bubbled, wavy glass, I will be removing the cataracts, so to speak, from the eyes of this old house.
I fully expect to learn quite a lot as I putter along with the putty and glazing points, primer and top coats. It's as if God is saying that it's time to clear off the debris of the past generations and the lingering scars of unforgiveness, jealousy...the old family stories of "He said, he did, he didn't, it's her fault, it's not my fault".
We inherit those emotions too, you know, from the old family stories. Cloaked in the shadows of passing along family stories, we also pass along the negative emotions. Those toxic emotions in turn hold us back from the kind of life with which God wants to bless us.
Yes, I have MUCH to learn from these old Eyes of this old family farmhouse.