In hind sight, I now realize something was wrong. The window had always seemed a bit difficult to open. However, all of my windows are rather heavy and require a bit of effort from me. I'd also learned from my neighbors that the previous owners rarely if ever opened their windows or even their blinds.
In Minnesota we quickly move from brutally cold winters to hot, humid summers to brutally cold winters once again. Spring is often rather brief and fall is usually not much better so typically my windows are only open for a few weeks before I need to resort to turning on the air conditioning or the furnace once again. Besides, this is a bay window so there are several others to choose from.
Every spring I would think that perhaps I should see why I had to tug a bit more at this window when I opened it but then my mind would get diverted to more important matters.
Then THE INCIDENT occurred. We got a letter from the association saying that all screens needed to be removed for they had decided to contract someone to clean the siding and exterior windows. This is when I remembered that we had tried to remove our screens before but had run into a snag when we attempted to remove them from the kitchen windows. I have removed many screens in my day but these had both my husband and I scratching our heads. How on earth were these supposed to come out?
We figured we had better things to do so I would wash my exterior windows using a product that promised to clean my windows even if I didn't remove the screens. It did an okay job, actually and I was satisfied. Now however, we had to remove the screens.
Neither my husband nor I are what you would call "handy". In fact, I am downright clumsy with my hands. My husband is extremely handy if you are at a packed live outdoor concert and the sound system abruptly dies. When this happened once during a Fourth of July celebration during the fireworks simulcast you should have seen that man sprint over to the trouble area like a bloodhound hot on someone's trail. The crowd actually cheered.
However, when it comes to this sort of thing, he flounders almost as bad as me.
As we fumbled around, we cheered when we believed the window was finally cooperating until we realized that my husband was suddenly holding a strange-looking object in his hand. Hmm... what was this? We attempted to put it back but the thing refused to go back. We looked at it's twin on the other side and checked out the surrounding windows. We could see where it was supposed to go but it wouldn't go. We also came to the conclusion that something on this piece had previously been broken. Not by us for there was no missing piece to be found anywhere but by a previous owner.
Now, I might not be handy but I can be a bit of a detective so... I went online to see if I could solve a couple of mysteries. First, what on earth was this thing? Secondly, how did we put it back and finally, how on earth did we take out our windows without destroying them?
I found a video. Don't you just love YouTube sometimes? I actually found a video which helped me identify the part I held in my hand and it even showed me how to take out the type windows we had and put it back into place. It also revealed that we were right. The part had previously been broken and jammed into place which was why I had to tug a bit whenever I opened the window. It was functional but not working properly.
As we watched this video something else became apparent. While common sense seemed to dictate that we slide the balancer (that's the name of the mystery part) in one way, it was the wrong way. We were attempting to do it backwards. This thought had occurred to us but there was a problem. We couldn't do it the other way unless we took out the window and we couldn't figure out how to take these windows out.
Proverbs 14:12 says:
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
We believed with all of our hearts that we were doing things the right way but that did not change the fact that we were wrong. We can be very sincere about our beliefs and what we do but if we are wrong, we are wrong. No amount of sincerity will change that.
This morning we tried once again to remove the window and screen. We consulted the how-to-video once again. Armed with knowledge and a bit of wisdom based on our previous experience, my husband easily removed not only the screen but the window and expertly inserted the offending piece. I took advantage of the fact that the windows were now free and cleaned all those little areas I previously could not reach.
The job is not completely done. My husband had to go work on a freelance job this afternoon and this evening but we were able to latch the window into place until he can pick up the repair kit we found to replace the broken piece on the balancer.
It is imperative for us to read our manual which is the Word of God and consult with the expert, the Holy Spirit, daily. When we do, we are able to not only identify but repair the trouble areas in our lives so that we too may operate smoothly and efficiently... just like my window will soon do.