After weeks of planning, and then replanning, shopping, and eating out, we were finally at the day appointed to actually initiate the great redecoration project.
The new furniture and carpet were waiting in the warehouse at the furniture store. The refinished desk was ready at Denny’s. And my eldest son, the painter, and his crew were at the curb with two huge cans of paint. I didn’t even ask him what colors they were because by then I really didn’t care. The plan was finally coming together.
As I took orders for my final round of errands, they began to prep the rooms for painting.
When I returned from the errands I planned to hide away upstairs in the bedroom where I had stashed some work I needed to get done along with snacks and beverages to sustain me until they had finished all the ceilings, and I could descend the steps to go out for supper.
When I returned from the errands I had a surprise. Our son had decided to repair the ceiling in the upstairs hall that he had destroyed many years ago. It was when we decided to open up the attic by putting in a “disappearing stairway”
We spent a lot of time way back then deciding which ceiling to “open” for the stairway. We considered the hall because that was the usually accepted place. But we decided the hall ceiling looked good and it was a shame to mess it up.
We chose to put the stairway in our bedroom. It was a bit unorthodox, but we could control who made the steps “appear” which made the attic a safer place to hide presents.
Shortly after the opening was cut, the oldest son, who was helping his Dad, was bouncing over the joist to get a needed tool when his foot slipped and most of his leg crashed through the hall ceiling.
He was not badly hurt and the ceiling was repaired, but the quick patch job had not improved over the years. Now who was I to deny our son the pleasure of correcting a misstep of many years ago?
I did release a deep sigh though, because to accomplish this feat he had to block off all the upper bedrooms, which included all of my work, snacks, etc…
Oh, well, at least the bathroom was accessible, and it would be nice to have a smooth ceiling in the upper hall again. And since the hall had been emptied it would be easy to repaint those walls, too. Right?
He just grinned and said, “Right, Mom.”
By nightfall all of the ceilings were repaired and painted white, and all of the dents and dings in the walls downstairs had been filled in. We had opened the wall paint, and my husband said, “It’s green!” I didn’t say anything because I knew it was really light teal blue. The next day they came back and painted the walls. They were perfect, and everything was all cleaned up when they left that evening.
Early the next morning the carpet was delivered, and by noon we had three rooms and the stair landing covered with new carpet. I didn’t order enough to cover the steps, but that wasn’t a problem because one of my errands had been to drive all over this area to buy teal blue carpet samples which are just the right size to cover our steps.
The next day the new furniture was delivered and the refinished desk was returned. They fit perfectly in place. We put up the lace curtains and they looked lovely. They’ll look even better when I get the stuff we stored in the bedroom put back so I can get to the sewing machine to make the valances.
No doubt about it, this was the way to get the spring cleaning done. It took a while, but it was worth it. One friend came in, sat down, looked around, and said, “It’s all so serene here.”
For several days I totally enjoyed our “new” home. The curios were returned to the cabinets, and the necessities were returned to the bookshelves. The rest is still up in the spare bedroom. If we don’t have overnight guests which would necessitate moving it, and if I don’t need any of it for a year or so, I can just get rid of it.
Now, everything downstairs was in great shape—except for the kitchen floor. It really needs to be replaced. But…
EDITOR’S NOTE; This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on May 24, 2000.