Monday, October 28, 2013

Trick or Paint

I paint.

That's what I do these days. It has kind of become this rhythmic morning routine.  I wake up and put on my black & white thick rugby shirt splattered with primer, my grey pants and my all time favorite navy crocs.  I start a pot of coffee and grab a quick bite.  Then I go to painting jail.

The rugby shirt just really makes the whole scene all the more comical.  The graceful french manicure I had from my sister's wedding is now barely visible under the layers of cracked "Naval" paint and white primer.  I sometimes even sport a streak or two of primer on my upper forehead these days.

With temperatures up in the mid 60's for the past month, our painting window has been prolonged and a blessing in disguise.  I have been able to stand on our back porch painting with the most beautiful backdrop - the glistening water and orange tree linger behind the street's gazebo.  We are truly lucky to live on such a beautiful street in Rhode Island, especially for New England's best season, fall. With the back living room 3/4 of the way finished, the painting department, ie ME, has been in full force.

Sand. Prime. Sand. Prime. Sand. Paint. Paint.

The great thing about painting is how the object is transformed before my eyes.  Instant gratification. We become one step closer to finishing off a piece of the puzzle with each new layer and brush stroke.  Which means we are one step closer to decorating. Which means I can start to bring 82 Middle Ave out of the 60s.  THAT makes me happy.

Speaking of the 60s...we had two visitors this past week.  Judy (mom) and Bill (son) S. used to live at 82 Middle Ave back in 1962-1997.  Guess where they live now?  2 houses behind us.  Guess where Judy grew up? 2 blocks away.  That is called a smallllll town folks.  I had a great time talking to these two because they had so many stories about the memories they created in this house, the answers to some of the mysteries we have been asking and the love of a house that became their home.

I knew immediately when they came to introduce themselves - their names are written all over the house - in the garage floor concrete, the basement (picture to prove it), the growth chart in the closet of the office, and behind the wallpaper in the bathroom.

But what I didn't know is that Bill used to have a fort in the rafters of the garage; Judy and her husband didn't have any money with 3 small children, so they did everything themselves (hence the piss poor construction that we are now fixing:); the kitchen was brand new in 1962...I thought the wood walls, wood cabinets and wood floors screamed OLD but I had no idea that kitchen hasn't been updated in 50 years; the white marks all over the garage are in fact barnacles - the wood from the garage came from the old Texaco plant down the road and the wood had been used for oil spills (can you say lead paint?!?!?); and all the neighborhood used to rally each month for potluck parties at the gazebo in the street, sometimes the Navy's band used to come and play at the Christmas party.

It's been easy for us to get caught up in the day to day construction of the house.  The surprise behind every corner, the hours of painting, the hauling of wood, and the trapping of animals can get exhausting. I for one have been feeling weighed down by the long list of projects and dwindling bank account, but these visits reminded me of WHY we are working so hard to make this house our HOME.

Just look at the progress these past 2 weeks...






Naturally I felt it was appropriate for Andrew and I to go to our friend's halloween bash as Heidi and Tim the "Tool Man Taylor" from Home Improvement.  I had just enough paint leftover yesterday afternoon to paint "Tool Time" on my shirt.

It's all coming together folks. This week's focus is interior trim, framing the back deck, painting doors and recovering the dining room chairs! Stay tuned...

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