Painting in September 2008

Did you ever see how little kids look after they eat chocolate cake?  How they get it everywhere and then mom & dad grab the camera for the photo op?  That’s how I am with paint; I get it everywhere.

I have a friend (Jack) who is a master painter.  I’ve thought of having him make a video of me painting to teach people how NOT to paint.  The sad thing is that I don’t seem to improve in this (lack of) skill with age.

I know that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”, but I keep having to relearn the reverse: I can do nothing apart from Him who strengthens me.  I wrote the song Seek God’s Face in Prayer so you would think that I would know to ask for help first; but I’m not there yet.

Yesterday I started my annual outside painting ritual: paint the cellar door (that’s the basement door for non-New Englanders), the back porch and the front porch railing.  It was the normal big deal that it always is for me, but I got through it.  Today I had decided to whip through the second coats and then go to work.

All was going according to plan.  I finished painting by 9 AM and I was doing so well that I forgot that I am me.  I started thinking that I was getting pretty good with this painting thing and that it’s no bid deal.  (“Pride goeth before the fall…..?”)

Instead of going through the cellar, I brought the paint supplies in through the front door.  I was gathering the supplies to take them “down cellar” when I overestimated my capacity.  I tried to make it in one trip.  That’s when I discovered that I had not put the paint cover on correctly.  I dropped the can and it opened.  The paint landed on the rug, the wooden floor, the cellar door and, of course, on me.

Step one was shock: “What do I do?”  Step two was to call work and let them know that I was going to be late.  Since the paint was on me, everywhere I went I left a paint trail.  It was on my ear phones, my CD case, my clothes, the bathroom sink, the kitchen sink and cabinets.  This was spreading like poison ivy.

I know that you put kitty litter in old paint in cans to absorb the paint, so I threw kitty litter on the paint on the floor.  I don’t really know this did any good, but it was already a mess.  I decided that the rug was totaled.  I had wanted to replace it anyway.

Steps three through twenty involved lots of paper towels, water, sponges and lots of repetition.

It’s all cleaned up now.  I’m just pausing before going to work, as it was a bit traumatic for me.  I’m wondering what lessons I can learn from this.  Sadly, my memory works in new and different ways every day so I don’t know if learning is still an option.  I am thinking of asking Jack if he has a video on “painting for beginners”.

I really need to paint the inside of my house.  After today I’m thinking that maybe I should get a second job and hire someone else to do it.

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