It meant way more than painting.
The supplies were in place to begin the arduous job of covering every surface in the house with a coat of Kilz and two layers of paint to alleviate the desire to run from the place due to grime, loud colors, and a stale, very aged, empty house, odor.
So our weeks looked like this- work M-F full time plus going on all the runs that came in to the fire department for Steve. We drove from Waterville out here each week night to check on the place, feed a kitten that I had found in a shed at work in downtown Toledo and brought out, as well as bring any item from the old house since we were going- never waste a trip. Random items made their way here in a very haphazard fashion for a couple months. On Fridays after work we would come and start painting- usually until about 3am. We completed the bedroom first so that we could sleep here over the weekend, and utilize every hour to keep applying the glorious changes to the walls, floors, ceilings and trim. Steve also used many containers of putty to fill dozens of small holes and cracks in the walls. When you are married and paint together it is best to first discuss a system, your plan of attack- who paints with what. Steve is proficient with a roller and being a full foot taller than me certainly gives him an advantage with that tool. I have decades of experience using a paint brush, and actually don’t mind painting trim so that was our preferred game plan- for weeks and weeks. We purchased the Kilz and paint from Home Depot in multiple five gallon buckets. We kept it simple- creams, light gray-even before it hit full speed in popularity, and bright white trim and ceilings in every room. It was a fabulous transformation- light, and clean.
This move was way deeper for me than just a logistical change in where our belongings now reside, and where we lay our head at night – it was a transition from the familiar. A surrender of a season. This was a risk for me that was only taken because Steve was along for the ride and steering the ship. His enthusiasm for this adventure was contagious. This was a coming home for him- he grew up in Grand Rapids. We were only 12 miles away as we resided in Waterville, but now we are just 2 miles from morning coffee gatherings with his many siblings, interactions with kids, and enjoying life happenings with grand kids.
As we began the task of painting we had a lone helper starting in the evening and continuing into the wee hours- Steve’s niece’s husband. He was a full time farmer at the time and when he had a block of time after all the work he completed in a day he gifted us with his presence. He kept us company, brought us up to speed in regards to animal sightings, who was planting what crops that year, while he also climbed a ladder and painted trim. We appreciated the painting of course, but to me it was way more than that. We had been interacting as family for years of course, but now he was quietly giving us a hands on welcome to the neighborhood – his neighborhood- you can just see their farm from our place. Life marches on with constant change and since that time he has experienced some serious health issues so these photos and those hours together are priceless. The time was treasured then and now. Listening to he and Steve laugh and tell stories while working diligently when we would have all rather been sleeping helped me in some fashion to make the adjustment to a new season. The time spent helping others is never wasted, it could definitely mean more to them than brushing white paint along a ceiling edge.