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Issue 09 – Lent 2022

Nunc Dimittis

Hung in Counterbalance

On windows.


Our house has old wood windows that hang on rope and pulley. Some have broken cords, and we have to prop them open to let in the breeze. Others are jammed or painted shut. Or the glass is cracked. The exterior paint and glazing have all but eroded away. Our windows are in rough shape.

Still, my wife and I can’t bring ourselves to replace them. They feel right in our 1920s foursquare, and most vinyl replacements look like tumors on otherwise healthy flesh. Internet sleuthing reveals that, when properly restored, old wood sashes function beautifully and can match the energy efficiency of new installs. I’ve been radicalized against a window replacement industry that rips out gorgeous, rot-resistant, old-growth wood and replaces it with petrochemicals.

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About the author

David J. Unger