......finding a new home for lutefisk lovers.

(ok we don't love it. or even like it. but we're supposed to.)

08 February 2011

I miss my painter......

When she told us she was leaving to spend the winter in Florida, we must have recoiled. Our faces must have registered a combination of shock, dismay, desperation and "Why me???" Because she quickly responded as if she were promising us a new puppy.

"Don't worry!" she said. "I'll be back in April! And I promise I'll put you at the top of the list! I won't even go home first! I'll just come straight here and start painting!"

Ok, I added that last part. But I bet she would do it if I asked.

Painting this house has been the number one most important factor in getting more comfortable in this place. She is - little by little, room by room - painting away the longing for our old house. The bright, colorful, sassy 4041. It may never be completely gone.........but we certainly feel much more comfortable in this new skin.

Thanks to our painter.

She sings while she works and we take "bitch breaks" where we talk about our husbands. "My husband is such a crank," say says. "Today I almost put a pillow over his face." She listens to the oldies stations while she works. The station that plays all the hits "from the 70's, 80's and today!" But really, there's not much "today!" When her daughter comes to help, they listen to the adult contemporary station (very Cities 97 for Minneapolis folk. A station whose tagline should be "all the songs that no one hates!").................but then she doesn't sing. It's quiet and not nearly as fun. But turn to the 70's station and it's like rollerskating with my bluebird troop all over again.

"If you change your mind......I'm the first in line. Honey, I'm still free! Take a chance on me...."

She knows every word to every song that has ever been played on the radio. Oh.....except "Harden My Heart" by Quarterflash. Which surprises me. I stop what I'm doing when I hear her not singing. Oh wait, there she goes. She was just waiting for the chorus.

When she was young, she had dreams of being a singer in a band. But her husband didn't want her hanging out in bars at night. So she divorced him. She became a single mom with 2 young children........and she was a singer in a band. She says it was the happiest time of her life. This is, coincidentally, when she started painting. She had married young and had no marketable skills - except singing - which wasn't paying the bills. But her father had been a painter and, as a little girl, she would beg to help him. He always said no. Painting was man's work. So she watched him instead.

And when was a young, single mom who needed to feed her children, she remembered watching her father and thought, "I think I can paint."

On her first job, she spilled a gallon of red paint on her client's white carpet. And she thought her career was over before it began. But she scrubbed the daylights out of that carpet and kept trying and kept putting food on the table. And now, 30 years later, she's transforming my house from a sad, flesh-colored den of suburban stagnation to a bright, crisp, happy home by the sea.

As you loyal readers know, she bathed the first floor in a color called "Sea Pearl." She understands how color can make you feel........how can something that surrounds you every day NOT affect your mood? And on the day that she took her roller and covered the last patch of the color we called "Sadness," she was as excited as I was. She even described the moment for me, bless her heart. She said, "There was just a small square of "Sadness" left. And I went like this and I rolled it a couple of times and I watched it disappear AND I JUST ABOUT HAD A BIG O!"

I love my painter.

Here are some examples of how she changed my life:

Remember this? This wallpaper was also used in the entry hall. You know, where we greet people? It was mortifying. Sometimes I wouldn't let people in. And now......

........the entry hall looks like this. Sea Pearl with stripes of Light Pewter and 1/2 tone Light Pewter.

The Rec Room BEFORE. We call this color "Flesh." If anyone would like the tapestry valance, you can find it in my garbage can.

The Rec Room AFTER. Baltic Gray with Sea Pearl trim. And no tapestry valance.

The new eat-in kitchen. Chalkboard paint below and Split Pea above.

And the place we spend most of our time........I call it the flophouse.
No more Sadness! Just Sea Pearl as far as the eye can see!


Anonymous said...

Even I am amazed.(or else you're just a really good photographer)
See you tonight after Yoga!



annegreenwoodbrown said...

The house looks really beautiful--and nothing like a fish shack. Which would be cool, too.

A little disappointed there's no chalk on your blackboard paint, but I guess that was just for the photo? ; )

Laura said...

Staggeringly impressive, spectacular transformation. And I expected nothing less.

marf said...

i love the stripes! a very mature sass fest.