Windows Retrospective: 2014 – 2015

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Retrospective

Feel free to look back across 2019 or the 2010s, or whatever comes to your creative mind, when you are feeling retrospective!

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Five years ago last November, my husband and I were still living in the home we had bought in 1980. The cape style house had been remodeled several times – adding space as our family grew larger. However, the dining room (originally an office & then my daughter’s bedroom) stayed virtually the same, with the occasional wallpaper and rug update.

I enjoyed eating breakfast in that small, yet cozy, dining room…something I had rarely done years earlier when life bordered on hectic. By 2014 our children had long since grown and moved on. I had (mostly) retired and treasured my mornings, lingering over the first meal of the day. No need to spend more time than necessary in the kitchen!

My seat at the dining room table faced a window looking out on our quiet neighborhood street. I sipped coffee with a clear view of the changing seasons…an occasional car…yellow school bus…jogger.

For some reason…I don’t remember why…I took a photograph of my window view one November morning in 2014. Perhaps it was the autumn leaves still hanging on despite the colder temperatures. Not sure, but I didn’t question the impulse.

Then…one thing led to another…

I thought it would be fun to document – on a regular basis – the changes happening outside…as seen from my seat at the table. At evenly spaced intervals of course. Not too surprising, as I am known to do that sort of thing (just ask my children…). Capturing moments.

For the next 11 months – on or about the 10th of every month at breakfast – I took a picture of that view…trying to line up the shot the same way each time.

The first photo…November 10, 2014:

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November 2014

Below are the photos…month by month…

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The last of the monthly photos was taken October 12th, 2015:

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October 2015

I am glad I chronicled this evolving, yet familiar, scene. Little did I know at the time, but major life changes were on the way.

One year later – in October 2016 – we sold our home of 36 years.

I wonder if the new owner is enjoying the view as much as I did.

I hope so.

 

Windows

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #30: Windows

It is interesting to note what it is you miss after it’s gone.
Not appreciating its significance while you had it.
As cliché as that may sound, it can still ring true.
Which brings me to the subject of windows.

Two years ago we moved from a house into a condo. I don’t miss much about the house…but one thing I do miss is the kitchen window. Over the sink…facing the backyard. Watching the sun as it hit the trees, the grass, the deck.

My hands deep in soapy water…cleaning dishes, washing pots. Rinsing vegetables for cooking. I was a loyal spectator to the changing seasons…which appeared with comforting regularity. From my window in the kitchen.

A robin would perch on the clothesline, pausing between flights. Squirrels and chipmunks raced across the deck railing…their own private balance beam.  Over the years the errant cat from next door would creep close, sit right below and stare at me, as if to say…what are you going to do about it lady? So what if I use your backyard as my litter box? I’d glare back, the window between us. This game continuing for years.

Winter brought icicles hanging down – eventually blocking and distorting the sight of blinding piles of snow beneath. Storms poured gallons of rain over the eaves past the sill. Hurricanes hurled wet leaves and twigs onto the glass and screen. Mother Nature everywhere. Putting on a show.

Warmer months showcased children throwing balls, making sand pies, swinging on the swings, climbing on the jungle gym. Eventually cutting grass and raking leaves. Opening the window swept in sounds of neighborhood life. The whine of distant lawnmowers. Splashing in a pool. Voices…young high pitched and older booming ones. Dogs barking. Car radio volume cranked, music a dull roar as it passed by. The faint hum of traffic down the hill. Smells of steaks on a grill. Next door neighbor burning brush. Every day a little different. Every hour just a bit changed from the one before.

That’s the thing about windows.
They give you a peek at your world. If you take a moment to notice. Not just quickly glance as you hurry by. But really look. Noticing the world outside. As young children do, with faces pressed against the glass taking note of…everything.

Sometimes the sight will stop you. And you put down the sponge. The pot. Turn off the water. Slip outside…maybe even sit on the back step and look around.
Listen.
Be grateful for this patch of earth.

One of the final things I did on that last October day – almost as an afterthought – was take a photo of my view out the kitchen window.
Through the screen, crooked shade and all.

It may be the only photo I ever took from that spot at the sink…following an intuitive hunch that it would be important to me.
Like I said, I took it for granted.

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Although we have plenty of windows in our over-55 condo, there is no window over the sink.
I miss it.
And sometimes the world I left behind there as well.