It was time for Bill to attack his first real summertime project — painting the front porch.
It had been a good, hot week since we scrubbed it, and the ceiling and walls were all finally dry. But a lot of the paint was loose so first it had to be scraped.
He moved all the furniture out on the hill and began scraping bright and early in the morning. The neighbors probably loved it.
He painted the ceiling dark green. I scrubbed the dark green spots off the siding. He spilled some green paint on the floor and sort of smeared it around when he tried to wipe it up. I figured I could scrub it off later with the hose. Then he painted the dark green trim on the side and put in the new screen.
Next he painted the white screen door. I didn’t scrub up the white spots because I was tired of scrubbing up spots. He replaced the screen in the door. He decided I could cut the screen at the bottom better than he could, so we both had little aluminum wire cuts in our hands. I’m the one who wanted the aluminum screen. He was happy with the black stuff.
At no time did he suggest I should help paint. He has a long memory, and besides, the white grass was still apparent from where I painted the glider the week before.
Whenever we painted anything, my contribution was to leave. When the kids were little, I’d take the younger ones away with me while the older ones helped him. Why? Because I’m a sloppy painter.
Fortunately, he became aware of this shortly after we were married. We went to visit his sister and her husband who were doing some interior decorating. His sister, Pat, had just sent her husband out in the yard with a can of mauve paint and 32 small wooden rings that were to hold the new café curtains. She wanted everything to match. I was to help him.
We brushed the paint on two rings. I thought it took too long, so I suggested we dip the rings in the paint and hang them on the clothesline to dry. He was willing to experiment. We got half of them done, and he went to get another can of paint. Pat came out to see how we were doing. She had to agree the rings looked great. Those rings were mauve as long as they lived in that house no matter what color she tried to paint over them.. And the grass was mauve for about four cuttings .
They kept me away from the paint until I was a Cub Scout den mother. Then for Christmas one year, we made big stars out of IBM cards. I told the boys I’d paint them so they wouldn’t gold paint all over my dining room and their hands.
After the family went to sleep that night, I covered the dining room furniture with newspapers and began to spray the stars. The first one was fine. My hands were gold, but so was the star.
I’d just started on the second one when something very small, dark and fuzzy looking streaked across the doorway. I shrieked. The can jerked upwards with my finger on the button, and. painted a nice gold swathe up the window and across the ceiling. No problem, gold is a good Christmas color. It went well with other decorations we had up.
Well, anyway with my history as a painter, I was the last person to complain about anybody else’s painting.
Besides the smears, spots, and blobs of green and white paint on the porch floor will probably help preserve the cement porch. My husband said so.
Author’s note: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on July 3, 1996.