Monday, March 26, 2012

Painting With Dad…

Every couple of years my father would paint a couple of rooms in our apartment. He made it look like child’s play. It was nothing for him to do the ceilings, woodwork and walls over a weekend. He’d start very early in the morning on Saturday and by Sunday afternoon he was done. As I got older, I wanted to help Dad, it looked like fun. My brother on the other hand, never wanted to touch a paint brush and could care less about it. My father would let me do the woodwork while he was busy painting the walls and ceilings. I love it. He would say, “she should have been the boy and he should have been the girl.”

But, as I got older and married my husband, painting became more of a chore and hard work. When we bought our house over 23 years ago, we wanted to paint all the rooms and closets before moving in. We allowed the month of August to accomplish this. It was the hottest August I could remember at the time, so that didn‘t help. After a week of working, we were getting no where fast. My mother felt sorry for us. We were so inept for such a big job and didn‘t have extra money to hire someone to do it for us. My mother volunteered my father to help us. He laughed. He knew what he could do and he wouldn’t refuse. He came to the house and open a can of paint. In a couple of hours he had put on the first coat on the ceiling and walls. I would work on the woodwork like old times. By lunch time he had put on a primer coat to the second room. After lunch he went back to the first room and applied the second coat. I was still doing woodwork. My husband was in another room, trying to put on a primer coat. The next day we went back and my father had finished the second room in the morning hours. Then he went over the room my husband was trying to paint the day before. I was still doing woodwork! By the end of the third day, three bedrooms were completed, woodwork and all, because my father did the woodwork that I could not get to. The fourth day my father did the hallway, upstairs and downstairs. It was amazing how he filled that roller with paint and rolled it back and forth with ease. And, yes I worked on the wood work, while my husband painted the upstairs closets. On the fifth day, my father painted the kitchen and pantry. Those rooms were much smaller and he was able to give them each two coats of paint with ease. My husband and I would have never finished the painting if we had worked every day for 30 days. But, my father, who was 66 years old and retired, put us both to shame. He had practically painted the entire house in 5 days! He laughed when it was completed. He knew how much work he had saved us and that we would have never gotten it all done ourselves.

My father was an amazing man. He was as strong as an ox and always there to help whenever we needed him. His hands were big and rough from his work in construction, but he was as gentle as a lamb with my baby girls. His heart was as big as they come and he told us and showed us he loved us every day of our lives.

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