How I Became a Magical House

Birth of a Billings Home

I was built (or “born” in human terms) in a nice neighborhood on the West End of Billings in the mid-nineties. Over the years, several families have brawled and blossomed under my protection. I am a house—the kind people live in—and recently I acquired some new people. A new family, to be more specific. Curtis and Darcey Frewin and their six children came to reside within my walls shortly before the hail storm of May 2016.

As all houses know, protecting families is not an easy job; and truth be told, even before the hail storm, the years had taken quite the toll on my once-beautiful siding, my elegant windows, and my strong roof. My insides, too, though still safe and sound, were noticeably less than they had once been. I remember feeling somewhat self-conscious the first time Darcey (the new mom) walked through my rooms. I could tell she had designs on me. She saw that I could be more than I was then, but I don’t think either of us dared to dream that one day she would make me shine brighter and look better than the day I got my first family all those years ago.

Hail, Heaven’s Hammers

New Windows on the outside of this Billings home

As I was already in this state of disrepair, you can imagine how my heart sank when those first big hail stones began to beat down on me. Just when I had gotten a new family, and was wanting to look fresh and sturdy for them, a barrage of ice hammers fell from the sky to pummel my soul. My new family was safely inside, but in the act of protecting them, I absorbed thousands of blows. And then thousands more. Dents and pockmarks, cracks and contusions, blemishes of every kind stood out on my battered exterior. I was doomed, I thought, doomed to forever disappoint my new family. I really hadn’t been up to snuff before the storm, but now all hope was lost. I wished they would just stay inside and never come out so that they wouldn’t see what I had become.

Humans say that sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. I’m not sure how they know this stuff, but in my case, they turned out to be right.

Interior shot of the new windowsIt just so happened that my new family had gotten me some kind of healthcare policy for hail storms and the like–the kind of thing that pays for reconstructive surgery, facelifts, etc. After a ton of phone calls and in-home chatter, they found just the right medical team to come out and fix me up. Greg Black was the head surgeon, and boy was he great! Darcey was so happy that she had found him, although when she was on the jobsite, she was, as they say, “ALL business.” She was a woman on a mission; she had specific goals in mind and the entire surgical team could see it in her eyes. There were roofers and stone masons and deck builders and window installers—housecare professionals of every stripe. I think they all liked seeing Darcey on the job because, like me, they could see she was going to appreciate all their hard work for years to come.

New Lease On Life

The big, heavy, cast iron door that enters this Billings home

When it was all said and done, I had a bomb-proof new deck made of one of the hardest woods in the world, double iron entry doors—as if plucked from some medieval fairytale, this amazing new waistcoat (or was is wainscot?) of corrugated steel with a premium powder coat finish, a brand-spanking-new layer of plate armor from gable to gable (what humans call “50-year shingles”), and a veritable stone rampart flanking my sides. Sometimes I think I can hear the stones tittering at the thought of hail: one of them will say, “Is that a hailstorm brewing on the horizon?” Then the others will burst into prolonged hilarity and jeering. It tickles my sides every time! Lastly, the bright ribbon on my fresh, new get-up: the windows—oh, the windows!

You should have seen the glow on Darcey’s cheeks when the neighbors would ask about my new windows! It was almost as if she thought my new outfit was her new outfit! My new windows have pure white frames, and it seems like they must be made of pure magic. Why magic, you ask? How else could they admit so much light while shutting out everything else? They block the sound and the moisture and the temperature and the wind—and someday I’m sure they’ll join my new stones in mocking heaven’s hammers! Every inch of my new window frames is covered in a continuous aluminum shield, ha! And somehow, in addition to all of this strength, while also being a wonderful spillway for the visible band of gentle, warming light, these windows still manage to block out the harmful, actinic rays. But that’s just what they do on the outside.

Dining room casement windows with transomsWhen not filled the sounds of my family, my rooms are quieter than they’ve ever been. What’s more is that the temperature of the air within my rooms is now so steady that my whole life before this point seems like one long, fluctuating fever. Recently a man came over to interview Darcey about the process of my surgery. I overheard her explaining the effects of the windows on my family’s energy bills, and positively gushing over the screens. The screens, of all things! I don’t see what the big deal is, but every human who sees them—and I mean every human—has to try them out at least once or twice. The thing is, my new screens actually retract into their respective window frames, so when they’re not needed, they literally vanish. Like I said: it’s magic. Pure white magic, which, these days seems to be going by the name “Push-out Casement Windows from Sierra Pacific.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story! Now that you know a little bit more about what it’s like to be a house, hopefully you’ll take care of yours so that she can take care of you. That’s what we love to do!


Prepare your home for the worst by getting the best new windows at 406 Window Co. This true story was printed with permission from Darcey Frewin, who can’t recommend highly enough the products and service of Brian Reay at the 406 Window Company.


An exterior panorama of the magical house in Billings