Have you ever seen an image (either imagined or in print) of a grand piano being hoisted up the side of a building with a rope through a window? That kind of gives you an idea of what I did last weekend.
Not the piano part (our piano was delivered up ended on it's nose, through our front door, years ago.) The rope part. My husband decided it was time to replace the windows on the back side of our house. The side that is two-stories high.
From the front, our house looks like an L-shaped ranch, one story. But we live on a hill, and when you pass by the house, you see that the back goes down the hill and the living area is really on the top floor. My husband, when time and weather permitted, had replaced nearly every window in this house except these last two difficult ones. And that's where we came in (his "crew").
Here was his idea: After dislodging the bottom corner of the window, have Kate tie a rope around the frame and wrap the rope around her body, thereby bracing the window. (It's a good thing I've learned how to tie a square knot!) Have Chad hold on to the center of the frame and have good ol' Alec hold onto Mom (pull, Alec, pull!) Do you have this scary image in your head yet? Now add my husband up on an extension ladder outside (remember, two stories up), guiding all this commotion while yanking the window out of the wall and easing it down to the ground. I don't even want to know what the neighbors were thinking. I was having a heart attack or at least it felt like it. But it worked. Amazingly. Then we had to do it again - but with the larger window (6' x 4', right Todd?) I really panicked with the heavier window but Todd told me to knock it off. I can't tell you the relief I felt when this was all over. Alec was jubilant! He was thrilled and loved how it was a "team" effort. I couldn't have done it without my strong sons. And the Lord. I prayed ALL day, until I was weak, seriously. Because not only did we have to do these crazy stunts, I had to watch my husband stand on that ladder all day, sometimes using a skill saw over his head, cutting out the windows. Man! I'd just stand there looking out the window, praying with all my heart that God would keep him safe. It's concrete down below where his ladder was positioned and I kept shuddering to think about what might happen. I trust the Lord and my husband's years of experience, of course, but things do occur. Sometimes without warning.
And then there was the giant wasp that flew in. After we got the first window removed, Chad said, "Mom, look over there" and right in front of a bookshelf (we think it was reading "Brothers Grimm") was the longest, biggest wasp I've ever seen! Carmen bolted and I ran after her. I glanced back and saw that monster right in front of my face! I screamed, startling my husband (still on the ladder) and started batting the air around me, shaking my head, hair flying. Todd wanted to know what was going on. The kids had disappeared (abandoning Mommy, shame on them!) finding safe haven in their rooms with the doors shut. Todd didn't see it (therefore, he didn't believe me) but it never appeared again so, thankfully, it must have flown back out. Perhaps it found the Brothers Grimm as appalling as I do.
So now, as I sit and type in front of our new window, I still shake a little at all we went through to make it happen. My poor husband has spent far too much time on a ladder and has the sore muscles to prove it. But, I had the satisfaction of hauling all those old windows to the dump yesterday (free dump day!) and as the guys were pulling out the windows and unceremoniously dumping them with a tremendous crash, one of the men said that it must have been a bummer to load all these windows into the van. I thought to myself, "Loading them into the van wasn't the hard part." Thank you, Lord, for keeping us safe!