Open Window Season

Photo by Evgenia Basyrova from Pexels

Some people never open their windows.

I’m not judging—you do you and all that—but I find this inconceivable.

This popped into my mind because this is the first great weather weekend we’ve had in Pittsburgh since October.  Both Saturday and Sunday are sunny with the temperatures getting oh-so-close to that ideal 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

So everybody’s got their windows open.

Well, almost everybody.  Some might be on vacation, or out of town, or have severe allergies to the outside world. 

But some—like my neighbors—just hate fresh air.

I, on the other hand, take it to the opposite extreme.

I open the windows every chance I get.  And I leave them open for as long as I can stand.

In the summer, I am loathe to turn on the air conditioner.  It’s not because of cost, or even any noble concern for the planet.  I just hate the idea of shutting up the house in the summer.  So I’ll sit and sweat in my home office while my neighbors write blogs saying how they can’t understand why people keep the windows open in sweltering heat (or so I assume.)

I usually break down in August and turn it on to get me through the final dog days of summer.

In the winter, I’m on constant alert for any day where the temperature rises enough for me to open the windows for even an hour or so. 

And sometimes, in the depths of February, when we’ve had bitter cold for weeks on end, I just can’t stand it anymore.  I dress up in my wool socks, a big sweater, and open the windows.  Sometimes two hours, sometimes three…as long as I can stand before the hypothermia sets in. 

Fresh air.  Freezing, but fresh.

Incidentally, I remember to turn the furnace off about 75% of the time.

So imagine what the neighbors are saying when they see my windows open in February and smoke billowing from my chimney pipe.


But spring is in the air, and soon we’ll be in open window season.  Those brief few weeks when it’s not too cold and not too hot and nearly everyone in the neighborhood has the windows open.

And no one thinks anyone is nuts.

I can’t wait.

13 thoughts on “Open Window Season

  1. I’m with you on opening windows, especially this time of year. Problem for me is that my office has 12 windows (it used to be. a sunroom) which makes for a lot of opening and closing. But I’ll do it on a day like today. Nothing like that fresh air after being cooped up all winter.

    As for the AC—I admit I’ll use it as soon as I can, not so much for the coolness as for the conditioner air. It gets really humid here in the summers and the AC helps to fight that humidity and make the house comfort. It is an uphill battle.

    • I am the same way: When the time of year, or day, permits it: those windows are opened. I recall . . . a comedian . . . maybe it was an old Andy Rooney bit . . . about the multi-million dollar air freshener industry. “You want ‘fresh air’: open a window!” The skin care industry was another: “Did everyone forget how to use soap and water?”

      “Oh, no! All of that dirt coming through the screens! The dust, everywhere!” my grandmother proclaimed, coughing on her Parliament Light. Meanwhile, you have that awful, brownish smoke film sticking to everything, stinking up the furniture and turning the wallpaper.

      I once had an office with windows, as well. (I even had a window box with plants! There were trees outside!) It was a smaller, family-based company, so none of those pesky “No Smoking” rules: “Smoke breaks” with coffee (ick, coffee) were king! Everyone in that office, were chimneys. Every office in the building — outside of mine — had a cloud in it.If the sun shined just right, you could see the head-level cloud filling the hallway: it was a cancer-layer parfait of smoldering tobacco.

      So, I kept my door, closed. No good.

      “What’s going on in there? Are you taking a nap?”

      Luckily, I was on an outside wall, so I’d open the windows. Ack! Nope: the thermostat for the building was in my office — and having the window open affected its operation. I brought in an air purifier. Nope. “What’s that whining sound?” I couldn’t win. They wanted not only my soul, but my lungs . . . and my liver.

      The fact that they all boozed it up on Fridays at some bar near the office — and I never went because I didn’t drink, nor find enjoyment is existing in a cloud of smoke tossing back shots — that’s another story. Oh, and that I didn’t “contribute” to the “Coffee Fund.” Argh!!!

      Needless to say: I found another job. Loved the work, not the environment.

      • The idea that people used to smoke in offices and on airplanes kind of amazes me….like it was the norm not so long ago but now people would look at you like you were nuts. You’ve got to be able to at least tolerate the people you work with in an office. No work can make up for toxic coworkers

      • And not just the toxic chimney spewers . . . the toxic sociopathic ones, as well!

        But you’re right: Smoking on airplanes, that still gets me: it existed. Smoking and non-smoking on a plane was a joke: you’d still end up breathing it. Hey, at least there was AC in the cabin!

  2. Oh, and taking things back to film: I love the image you selected to represent your story. That window reminds me of that awesome “oner” that Michelangelo Antonioni shot for The Passenger from 1975 with Jack Nicholson.

    If you’ve never experienced it, You Tube “The Passenger – penultimate shot” to watch. Amazing!

  3. Two feral cats here, both of whom really love the smell of fresh spring air…so windows wide open, but at a height that the wee ones can’t get to. Best time of the year for invigorating fresh air!

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