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Tom Sawyer whitewashed a fence and I painted some old metal yard chairs white. I did it outside on the brand new balcony of my mountain cabin. Paint and white are about the only things my venture had in common with Tom Sawyer’s, though. His was a communal pursuit that brought him many valuable items such as dead rats, partially eaten apples, orange peels, and other assorted treasures. My solitary pursuit brought rewards of a different nature, but I didn’t want dead creatures and partially-eaten food items anyhow. Aunt Polly was happy that the fence was done, but I’m not so sure how happy my husband is going to be about the chairs.

You see, paint and I don’t really get along. I like Deck Painting Guys fine but it likes me too well and insists on decorating my body, clothing, and, really, any other surface nearby and not so nearby, in addition to the object being painted. It’s a one-sided love affair.

It’s hard to describe the satisfaction one feels from putting dull gray Rust oleum on a partially sanded object. Actually, it was fun and the seats and seat backs were easy. By easy, I mean it’s OK if the primer is streaky, right? It’s just the first coat. Or so I told myself. The main thing is, the paint and I were getting along fine. We were mellow, so mellow that I didn’t mind all the edges and nooks and crannies crying out for paint – and there were oh so many of them. But I was going to paint with the best of them: no surfaces left untouched in my paint job! And we’re focusing on the surfaces here that belong to the chair. I can’t help it if I’m just generous and don’t want any other surfaces left out.

The truce held and I finished the second coat without too much difficulty. I kept everything out of the paint except the brush, and as far as I was concerned, that meant truce over, victory for me. I had the upper hand, finally. I vanquished the paint. For now. Tomorrow I decorate, and since I have no idea what I am going to do until the brush hits the paint and then the chair surface, there is still time for the paint to get me in its messy, rubbery grip.

Perhaps Tom had the right idea farm the job out and relax collecting treasures as other people lined up to do the work. But see, as I painted, I saw a Nuttall’s Woodpecker, a hummingbird, some Stellar Jays, some as yet unidentified birds, and two squirrels mating. My camera is always within reach and I got some great photos of those squirrels. So I got my rewards also. And I enjoyed them much more than I would have old orange peels and dead rats. Best of all, my camera remained paint-free, and the day after tomorrow I’ll be enjoying the balcony and the birds from my new, decorated, metal yard chairs.

Susan Reep is taking full advantage of retirement to explore the aging process through humorous essays. Of course anything humorous has a serious truth at its heart. With nine grandchildren, aging parents, and multiple demands on her time, Susan has nonetheless managed to begin a new career as an artist and writer.

Published at: Recent Health Articleshttp://recenthealtharticles.org

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