Wednesday, February 23, 2022

We painted some things

Andrew just came in from scraping paint off the windows of the front door, which we painted bright yellow on Saturday. 

We've been thinking about painting the door yellow for a few years now and on Saturday we decided that instead of saying, "One day we'll have a yellow door," we would change that to be, "Today we will have a yellow door." 

So now we have a yellow door. 

The paint we chose is called Unmellow Yellow, and it is rather bold, but perhaps not as bold as the Bold Avocado we chose to paint the dining room. 

That was more of a snap decision.

I simply said, "What if we repainted the dining room?"

And Andrew said, "What colour?"

And I said, "I dunno. Green?"

And the next thing I knew we were matching colours. We went with Bold Avocado and Whipped Avocado, since I was afraid Bold Avocado would be too overpowering all over the walls. Andrew went out and got paint the very next day (to prevent my from entering what he endearingly calls a state of "decision paralysis") and roped Rachel and Miriam into working with him all day. I helped, too, here and there, but mostly I was on little-kid duty. 

So the next thing I knew, I had a green dining room, that really resembles and avocado, now that I think about it, with dark green layered on light green, the warm brown table as the pit.

I'm planning on painting a few aspens in the corner where our birthday/thankful tree once stood (because we can't do without a birthday/thankful tree). That project will have to wait for a while, though. 

Despite not doing much of the work myself, I ended up in my painting clothes, covered in paint at the end of the day. 

Andrew offered me the shower first.

"Go ahead and take the shower first," he said. "I'll tidy up a few things and shower after."

So I took a shower and was ambitiously braiding my hair when Andrew came in, shivering.

"It's so cold!" he complained.

"Not that cold," I said. "Not anymore!"

Saturday had been a rather chilly day for painting, but we left all the windows that could open hanging wide open all day long—for ventilation. We were all freezing. But then we closed the windows and turned on the heater and things were warming up just fine, so I wasn't sure what he was complaining about.

"But I was outside," Andrew said. "Scraping paint off the windows."

Now I felt bad. 

Here I'd been in the steaming hot shower while he'd been outside in the cool night air, working away. 

We used to carefully tape our windows, but then we saw one of our neighbour's houses be professionally painted and they didn't take any care with the windows at all. They got paint all over them! But the next day, the windows were I looked it up and, as it turns out, you can just use a razor blade to scrape excess paint off your windowpanes and it's a whole lot easier than taping the windows! It's still a bit of a chore, though, so I was so appreciative that Andrew was outside—in shorts and an old t-shirt (his painting clothes—scraping windows, while I was...luxuriating in the shower.
So, Andrew hopped in the shower and I settled in with some school work and then we went to bed. 

The next morning was, of course, Sunday (that's the way calendars work). Andrew left for church with the big girls without waking me up (and then I woke up later, and woke up my little ones, and we assembled in the music room to Zoom into church). Even with Zoom church, I sometimes end up pacing the hallway with a fussy baby...and so it was that I was passing by our freshly painted front door...and noticed that the windows had not been scraped. 

I stared and stared at those windows with a bit of consternation. 

And then I saw it...a little two-inch space that had been carefully scraped clean. 

I teased Andrew about it when he got home. 

"Was it so cold scraping windows last night?" I asked him, standing by the front door. 

"It was so cold!" he said. 

I held up my fingers, marking off the little bit that he'd scraped.

"You call this 'scraping the window?'" I asked.

All in good fun, people, all in good fun. We were both laughing so hard. 

"I said it was cold!" he said in defense of himself. "I said I had to give up and come inside because it was so cold! Plus it was shady!"

"It was midnight," I said. "It wasn't shady. It was dark."

"See?!" Andrew said. "Even worse for me!" 

We've all been laughing about the door so much the past few days. Andrew finished scraping it—in the dark—this evening. But it was about 70°F outside, so much warmer than it had been Saturday night.

And now the door looks marvelous. A little...bright. A little...bold. But it's cheerful.


Andrew and I have mostly reassembled the dining room. 

The whiteboard is back on the wall, the clock is in its rightful spot, and our few decorations have been re-homed as well. All we have left to hang are the kids' baby pictures (somehow making space for Phoebe...I'm still trying to decide how we're going to do that). And, of course, I also need to paint our birthday/thankful tree (before May). 

I switched up the location of a couple of things. We have a banner/wall hanging sort of thing that we bought in Egypt. It's just our family name in Arabic script. We had it by the window, but I felt like it was too continuous with the curtains there, so we switched it the wall by the doorway to the kitchen where our pretty dishes once hung.

We hung the dishes—a bowl from Tunisia and two little plates from Palestine—on the wall by the window and curtains. 

I quite like the switch.

We joked about changing where the clock went, but we're so dependent on it for the time that all it was was a joke. We kept trying to check the time on it while it was down on Saturday and it was driving us nuts not having it there. Plus, we can see it from the music room. So it went back exactly where it came down from.

But let's talk about that bowl from Tunisia for a minute. My friend Sara brought it back for me from Tunisia; Andrew (and Rachel) and I had stayed at her apartment (in Cairo) while she and Kevan went on a trip without their kids. Andrew and I babysat their five kids. It was a lot of work. I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to manage that many children. 

Yet, here we are.

Anyway, Sara brought back a lovely bowl from Tunisia for me. It's simply beautiful. And I appreciated it so much because she mentioned that she noticed I liked green and although the bowl is mostly blue, it incorporates green in its design. She said that she likes to watch people, observe what colours they wear, what colours they surround themselves with, and make a note of that. Now, I'm not sure that green is my favourite colour (though I was in a bit of a green phase, wardrobe-wise, at the time...and I did just paint my dining room green), but I so appreciated feeling seen by her. 

We used the bowl as an actual fruit bowl when we lived in Cairo. 

But now we have so many kids that a fruit bowl (a) is too small to hold the amount of fruit we keep in our house and (b) to fragile a thing to have sitting around with fruit in it. So...the bowl has been living on our walls. For literal years

We got the bowl in 2008 or 2009. 

It has been hanging on the wall in our dining room in this house for nearly three years. 

Before that it hung on the wall of our Durham house for five years. 

This bowl has been around.

So I was surprised when on Tuesday morning, Zoë came to me about "a problem in the house" she wanted to show me. She wouldn't tell me what the problem was. She had to show me. 

She led me into the dining room—where we eat our meals, where we gather to play games, where we sit for hours doing school work—and parked me in front of the wall where I'd recently re-hung (emphasis on re-) the bowl and pointed.

"There is a bowl on the wall," she said. 

"Yes..." I said. "I know."

She puzzled for a few minutes and then concluded (with a slight hint of incredulity), "You did that on purpose?!"

So now she's extremely bugged by the fact that there's a bowl on the wall of the dining room, even though there had been a bowl on the wall the entire time we've lived here.

Such a funny observation to suddenly make. I suppose the change of location coupled with the way the new colour scheme makes it pop finally made her notice it.

And isn't it nice to be seen?

1 comment:

  1. No before-and-after pictures of your painted door and walls?

    That's funny how the bowl stood out to Zoë now that you painted the wall. Or maybe she just grew taller and it finally stood out to her. Ha.

    And I had to laugh at the thought of Andrew scraping paint off the windows at midnight. Clearly we don't keep Heiss hours here!