Who let an old dog paint the house?

The weather has been spectacular here lately, with bright sunny days and highs in the 60’s. It should be raining here and snowing in the mountains, but instead of worrying about drought my husband and I have been “making hay while the sun shines.”

Our house and our rentals are in constant need of repairs. Right now everything could use a coat of paint.  This is perfect weather for painting.

Have I complained enough about being an “empty nester”? Here’s a big sticker – my kids were both taller than me by the time they were 15 years old, had long, monkey arms, big strong hands, and endless amounts of energy. I’ll never forget the time, for fun, they had a contest to see who could turn over my compost pile faster. They stood on either side of the pile with flat shovels and started scooping it up, throwing it on top. It was gorgeous, “black gold”, steaming in the winter sun. They had the whole 6′ x 10′ pile turned over in about 15 minutes, laughing all the way.

They also tagged along with Dad to do the rentals. The little guy is exceptionally adept at puttying nail holes, and the big one is good with a paint brush.

The last time we turned over our big rental, I told our younger son I was going to let the windows go dirty. They were old storm windows, had to be removed once in a while to clean the tracks, and I just don’t have that kind of strength anymore. The kid took that as a challenge – he went to the rental the next day and cleaned every damned window, tracks and all. They hadn’t been that clean for years, and they ran over those tracks so fast we had to tell the new tenants to be careful opening and shutting.

So now the big one has his own house and a commute to work. This is the first year he has not had time to mount a ladder with a bucket of soapy water and clean my upstairs windows. I can do it, but the sight of me on a ladder gives my husband high blood pressure, so I been waiting for an opportunity when he’s not home. Just because a person kicks a ladder down and falls off a roof trying to get down – one time! And nobody trusts you on a ladder anymore! What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

Anyway, as I was saying, we don’t have those kids at home to do our chores anymore, so my husband has shown me how to use a paint brush. He used to be so picky about stuff like that, now he’s desperate enough to put up with a few brush marks and a drippy-drip once in a while.

So yesterday I painted whatever I could reach without a ladder. He seems to be fine with my work, he stopped pointing out the drippy-drips.

We found out, last time we painted our apartment, we never put the second coat on the back. Sheesh – I know why – it’s the biggest side of the building, we were probably butt tired by that time and thought we’d finish up the next day.

Yes, my hands feel like somebody smashed them off at the wrists, but I’m pretty happy with myself – Old Dog can still learn a new trick!

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