Saturday, April 20, 2013

Screen Doors

Where would we be without screen doors?

Caged inside on a glorious spring or summer day, that's what.  I am always happiest with open windows and doors so I can see what's happening in the world outside, smell the flowers, hear the birds and, of course, barking dogs, noisy cars and lawn mowers.

Only when the humidity and heat get too oppressive do I reluctantly turn on the air conditioner and seal myself hermetically inside.

My earliest memories of screen doors are the ones at my great aunt's in Pennsylvania which slammed wonderfully and which one hooked carefully at night.  The front one looked out on the main street and the back one on flowers and the creek.

Later, during high school in southeast Washington, I could talk to some wondering neighborhood boy or girl friend and keep up with who was doing what -- all without letting the flies in.

In early married days in the house where I still live, screen doors allowed me to keep an eye on the kids and hear who was on the carport, who was fighting over whose toys, who was teasing the current baby in the play pen.

Later we had doors with movable glass which we slid up and down over the outer screen.  My daughter's athletic Siamese cat could climb to the top of the screen easily but with a lot of meowing to make sure we were all watching.  Our present cat plucks the screen like a harp to ask inside.

The beagle we had for almost a year (was it only that long?) could hear when the screen door latch didn't click and would disappear in a trice to run with his neighborhood doggie gang.  This included Snowball-ginger-oof, the three-legged dog.  We called him doggie-no-leg.  He came from blocks away just to hang out with the guys.

Screen doors keep skittery moths, Jehovah's Witnesses and stray animals out and let in the smells and sounds of summer.  Let's hear it for the man (or woman) who invented screen doors.

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