There is a house I see every day. It is a classic 1970s split level house. Three people live there. A man in his sixties, and two women in their forties. The man works in the day time, the brunette woman works at night, and wears scrubs to work, and the blonde - she is gone for about three hours every morning, but I'm not sure she's working. I know nothing about these people except that their glass recycling bin is usually pretty full, what cars they drive, they don't know how to winterize their garden, that their garage is packed to the gills, and that one of the bedroom windows on the second floor is always open. What do I mean by "always open"? Well, the first time I really noticed it was in early December when we were having record cold days, highs of 16 F, and there it was, staring out from the house all wide open, with a fan in the window sill. Day and night, that window is always open. Rain, snow or sunshine, that window is always open. Sometimes the fan that is permanently on the window sill is on, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the wooden blinds are up to reveal a pink sheet of fabric hanging. Sometimes there is a can of Dr. Pepper, or two in the window sill next to the little tchotchkes. People are going in and out of this room, but whether it is 54 F like today's high, or 5 F like some of those chilliest of nights, the window is open. Also, they have newish vinyl windows on their house, so it's not like they wouldn't be gaining anything by closing the window.
Why am I telling you this? The last time I had a situation with my neighbors that I couldn't figure out, dear, smart Whitney, cracked an egg of knowledge on my head, and pieced together a common sense solution that I hadn't thought of (probably because I'm never really good at thinking about holidays or what date it is). I have pieced together all sorts of situations for the inhabitants of the house, siblings, Three's Company, Kate & Allie, bigamy, etc. but I cannot for the life of me figure out why a window has been open non-stop during a cold, wet winter in Portland. What is here that I'm not seeing? What am I too naive to figure out?