I don't know what we've done either in this life or in previous lives to deserve the friends and family we somehow have surrounding us. In two tortuous weeks, we went from white trash to respectable, and without them all we'd still be buying old cars to fix them up but not getting around to it and leaving them on the lawn on cinderblocks and sitting on our crumbling porch scratching the heads of the Bumpus hounds and Christian would never have gotten out of that wife-beater. As it was, I had to pry the shotgun out of his left hand and the Schmidt out of his right.
In the four years we've lived in the house, we've refinished or replaced floors, repainted every interior surface but those in the rooms that will be remodeled, replaced all of the windows, rebuilt the porch and now repainted the house. We've spent $20,000 for all of this, mostly because we have the most amazing work crew at our disposal. It would have cost us at least twice as much to do all of these things with a contractor. Of course, we didn't install the windows ourselves as we'd have to be HIGH to do so, but the rest of it we either did or helped to do.
Christian and I worked almost every night last week after our day jobs to get the house ready for the actual paint. But, I was full of despair and chagrin last Friday, when, after working for six straight hours with Tara and Christian, the house didn't seem to be any further along. Painting white trim on white primer is pathetically anticlimactic. Our house looked like a marshmallow. On Saturday morning, I had the obligatory mini-meltdown in which I stood in the garage and cried for a few minutes over the rollers and brushes that seemed to multiply as though they were in a house painting version of the movie Gremlins until I couldn't find anything under the piles of tinfoil wrapped, oil painted and ruined rollers and I couldn't possibly foresee how the tragic disaster that was the garage and driveway could ever be clean again, and how was the house going to get painted before I died and if you've met me you can imagine this scene better than if it had been videotaped.
I started painting on the shady side of the house at about 9:30 after making a doughnut run for everyone who said they'd be helping, even though I simply couldn't believe that anyone would give up their weekend, so imagine my wonderment when Chris, Angie and Rich arrived, clothed in their painterly togs ready to grapple with the unimaginable: putting two layers of paint on our entire house, eaves included, in two days. Thank God that C&A painted their house two years ago and the paint job on the inside of their house is far more impressive than any museum exhibit of mid-century modern art, and their art is painted onto the walls instead of hanging from them, because man, are they good at both detail work and rollering. As both Angie and I are gimpy right now, we left it to the boys to scale the scaffolding and paint the difficult areas and we rollered over acres of lap siding. Those little pink rollers that have the button end and fit onto the handle that is the perfect width of the siding? I want to marry them. They shall be my new husband. They're the right shape and everything. Oh yeah. Something else? Apparently, when I'm tired and punchy, I have no inhibitions and will talk about things that would mortify me at any other time. Just for future reference. Anyway, Christian is glad that he never got rid of his javelin spikes, as they were the only thing between him and certain death from a fall of the roof of the kitchen.
I'm still not happy with the underside of the eaves as we couldn't sand them due to the difficult angle, so they're flaky-looking, but when we replace our roof, we'll be able to soffitize them. This weekend, we'll be able to finish the porch including replacing the beadboard on the ceiling and putting a second coat on the areas we couldn't get to because of the construction. The actual porch construction should be finished by Wednesday, when Tara is going to come and clean the utter filth inside our home. You can see my footprints on the dust of my bedroom floor in a little path from the foyer to my bedside to the closet.
I'm now covered in bruises and desperately sunburned on my back and shoulders and I have a big lump on my head from where I dropped the enormous ladder on it in a misguided attempt to move it on my own, but we're almost done, so it doesn't matter anyway as I now have a chance to lie on the couch and moan without having to get up right away and climb a ladder with a possibly useless ankle.
I really do want to take this time to get extremely emotional with everyone and thank:
Mom and Dad
Lynn and Sal
Chris and Angie
Rich and Shelly
and especially my Mooky, who has worked harder than I've ever seen anyone work in my life. You are my hero, sweetie.
And Chris? You can touch Christian inappropriately any time you like. You've earned it.