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HomeOpinionThe Papa Files: Backyard Blinds

The Papa Files: Backyard Blinds

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About 1,209,600 seconds ago (I was curious as to how many seconds were in two weeks) I went over to my daughter Cocoa Bean’s house to put up mini-blinds in her living room window. The window there looks out on the backyard. So does mine, here in New Zoo House, but that wasn’t so in Old House. And every one of the other sixteen houses I lived in, child and adult, had a front-facing living room window. (I’m not counting the duplex or barracks).

I don’t know why houses have been designed so backwards. Were the architects newbies, and they missed a class? Were they impatiently trying to fit the square footage into the lot and just screwed up? Was such a floor plan cheaper? I don’t know, but I don’t like it. In my perfect abode, if I ever get to build it, I would be able to look out the front window and see who just pulled into my driveway. In fact, I should be able to glance over my shoulder from my recliner to observe the visitor/intruder. In this house, I can barely see one corner of the driveway from my office window. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I want to see in the backyard.

The reason I had to put blinds in my daughter’s window is because the lot behind her house sold, and so contractors ripped up the landscape. For four years (you’ll have to calculate those seconds yourself) she’s covered that window with just a sheer curtain, for there was a virtual forest beyond the backyard, full of gnarled and tangled shrubs and trees. No one could see through it. And she is very upset she had to add the blinds. She never minded the inscrutable night just behind her sheers. I, on the other hand, have always had blinds of some sort on every window, because I don’t like the creepy darkness beyond the glass.

I also replaced the blinds in her son’s bedroom, my grandson Rex. His single drop of mini blinds is located in the wall to the right at the foot of his bed and he absently broke several slats with his toes while on the phone with his girlfriend, Closio. He has promised never to do that again, we’ll see.

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Then I fixed the towel bar in my daughter’s small bathroom, reattaching it to a new spot on the wall next to the shower. And I oiled the short axels of her high back bar stools, they were squeaking in a creaking sort of way. (I had also stabilized the backs of two of those chairs with long wood screws hidden under the padded seats, but that happened many seconds earlier.) I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, after her dogs finished barking and jumping at me. It was a fun chore of problem-solving and toolear (new word, pronounced too-lee-er) labor. I hope her husband, my son-in-law Skipper, doesn’t mind my helping out with such duties. It gets me away from my wife’s increasingly complicated garden and her tasks for me there.

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