A Mostly Painted House

Painted House 2

Day 3: Just me and Tito, cleaning up the previous days’ messes.

Painting trim is a task I feel very conflicted about: part of me loves the instant gratification of transforming something from messy to acceptable, but a few hours in, I start wondering how much a good straight line really matters. We suggest you take your glasses off.

Even with your glasses on, though. Seriously. Our house needed a makeover.

It used to be the fugly girl with no makeup (note how it failed to stand out against a gray sky):

Unpainted back

And now it’s about as supermodel as it will ever be, if you ask me:

Painted Back

(The color seems a little bright here; we took the photos at sunset, with the sun beaming straight onto the fresh paint.)

Our friends Amy and David are building a house in Massachusetts. They’ve been working on it for something like five years, and still, they’re after the holy grail of homebuilding; perfect is good enough, they say. Weekend after weekend, detail after detail. I thought I agreed. Perfect. On Friday, my husband was trying to cut me off at the pass. “We’re going for the 95th percentile, Jess.” I am so bad at 95%.

Today, I agreed with him instead. Perfect is not important. In fact, perfect would make me downright insane.

So we did an almost perfect job.

Well, okay, that’s a total lie. Tito and I did a good job (with an A for effort), and we happened to team up with a few determined souls who happen to be basically pro painters, which pulled our average up nicely.

I’m just not sure what to say about our neighborhood. When friends offered to help us paint, I knew they’d stop by. You know, pick up a brush, drink a few beers. But I was surprised when they came to paint for something like 15 hours, with a mom in tow, even. Would I ever be that generous with my time? I’d love to say yes, but I know the answer is no. I guard my time so jealously.

But they weren’t the only ones. Sarah came over to help. Sheldon made us brunch. Gail weeded along our joint fence, so we’d have an easier time painting the Back Nine (square feet). Susan brought us a giant box of cookies. And on . . .it’s been almost a year, and it touches me so deeply that we’ve moved to a place where the word neighborhood means something.

Tonight, I’ll absently pick the paint out of my hair as I enjoy the rest of my wine. I’ll collapse into bed, weak with fatigue but brimming with happiness and pride and satisfaction of a job pretty well done, of a house made a home. (Cheesy and true.)

Eventually, we’ll paint the back doors, the trim on the garage, and whatever else we forgot about.

But tomorrow, the plumbing project begins. Wheeeee cooking without water, should be fun.



Filed under commentary

5 responses to “A Mostly Painted House

  1. Oooooooooo, Jess it looks great. And a great pop against that sky!!

  2. Pingback: Feeling Pressed « hogwash

  3. Nancy Thomson

    Hi Jess,
    I love the red door in the front! Cannot wait to come out and see it sometime….. maybe another Feb. visit????? N

  4. sarah

    such a small world. now that i know that you know one my friends from SEA (slw, who’s now slm, and used to walk the dogs with you on the beach, apparently), and to read about amy and david building their house… i have never met amy, but my husband and i have sailed the south pacific with david. this makes it all the more fun for me to read your blog. huzzah!

  5. So funny, Sarah! Love the smallworldness.

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