Monday, March 4, 2013

Spackle and Paint

We spent this weekend painting a new house.
Not ours, sadly.
We have HOUSE FEVER! I've heard about Spring Fever and Baby Fever and at times experienced both of them, but even on their most intense peaks, neither of these compare to HOUSE FEVER.

House Feverlures you onto the Internet late at night or early in the morning to search forlocal listings.
It leaves your head spinning when you drive through a beautiful neighborhoodthinking I want to live here.
It makes you dream of tree-lined streets and your own washer and dryer.
You can’t even go into a furniture store or a cute boutique with homedecorations without having a heart attack for want of buying all of theseamazing things to display in your non-existent home.
It saps all desire to clean and organize your current shit hole of anapartment, because you think what is thepoint? We don’t own this place and, God Willing, will be out of it in a fewseasons.  I hate it. 
It makes your stomach ache whenever you see people out and about with theirdogs, because you desperately want a dog, but you have no yard yet for thedog.  And so the dog must wait.  As must the new couches, coffee table,nightstand, and bed frame you need. Because you don’t yet know what your house will be like and howeverything will fit, and what the color scheme will be.

It is atorturous limbo, House Fever.

And we onlyexacerbated ours this weekend with our painting party.

Peoplecomplain about painting their houses, but truth be told it isn’t bad.  The easiest part of painting is…painting.
It is the rest—getting the furniture moved/covered, picking the colors, tapingeverything thing off that is exhausting and tedious.
The painting part is strangely relaxing and almost meditative, once you get inthe zone. 
All that exists is you and the brush and the delightful color that was chosen,and that corner that needs to be coated and smoothed out.
I love it.
Nearly the whole family chipped in, and we had a delightful time eating pizzaon the floor (no kitchen table/chairs yet), listening to oldies and 80s rock(only the best), and chattering away happily.

On Sunday ournephews and niece came right from church and my niece Emma, seeing my spacklingaway (I was the only one who knew how to do this well, and I am an AMAZINGSPACKLER), immediately wanted to help.
Which was funny, considering her brothers plopped on the couch withiPads/Kindles/other gadgets and totally zoned out.
And here is this little girl in her Sunday velveteen asking me to teach her howto spackle.  I was pretty stoked,especially because this reminded me of myself when I was a little girl, followingmy handyman dad around the house and learning all sorts of things (which is whyI was indispensable, if I may say so myself, in this weekend’s home remodelingadventure).  We share a middle name, soit was kismet.
Her dad is not entirely in the picture—her parents are divorced and I’m not hisbiggest fan, and he isn’t the sort of person to teach her these things that endup being useful later on.  So hell yes, Iwas going to teach her to spackle and sand, among other things.
Taking a break to watch the opening song of Beauty and the Beast!

We threw anold tank top of Eli’s on over her dress, just in case, and went to work withour color-changing putty, filling all the holes in the downstairs rooms.
She was marvelous at picking out the dings, cleaning them out, filling withputty, and scraping it off.
The putty was bright pink and changed to white when dry, and we giggled as wespread it across the wall, observing just how much it looks like frosting.  I set her straight on the TOXIC-DON’T-PUT-IT-NEAR-YOUR-FACEpart of spackling, and she never questioned it. Although it appeared time-consuming at first for me to teach her, andthe others probably thought I was nuts showing a  6 year
old girl how to spackle, she caught onquickly and actually became a great helper! She cut my work time in half,allowing me to chip in with the painting earlier than I thought.
It was pouring rain outside all day (the fresh kind that smells SO good) and somehow that made painting indoors all the better. I usually despise Sundays, but something about the productivity of this one, that is evidenced by the ache in your arms, felt good. 

I can't wait for it to rain again.
But even more, I can't wait to find a house.

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