Howdy Folks! I have missed writing and am happy to get back to it. Aside from sloth, there are a few reasons for my e l o n g a t e d absence from cyber, and in some cases actual, space.

I ended this summer’s adventures and began the fall at my folks’ place in PA. They were in the process of buying a new house and needed help packing the old house, painting and repairing it, and clearing out all the clutter from our attic and TWO storage sheds. By the time I arrived, my mom and dad had cleared out lots of furniture. I continued packing for a week and had everything but the essentials for living bubble wrapped, boxed, labelled and arranged in the garage for loading.

Then, in the final hours, something went wonky with the underwriters and the whole deal fell through – no new house. “No big deal. Things happen for a reason. We’ll get ‘em next time.” And all that.

On the plus side, the house we live in still needs to be painted and it is about 80% empty. So, I began painting the house. There were several staged deadlines involved. My grandpa would be coming back to stay with us through the new year soon, so I had to finish the basement first. Mom starts teaching school again soon after, and has Fall break coming up, which is a good time for me to kick them out so I can get to the high traffic/dangerous areas in peace. And Mom wants to have a Halloween party for her students.

Guthrey and Lucas - Chimbo, RVA, early aughts.
Guthrey and Lucas – Chimbo, RVA, early aughts.

I painted houses for a living off and on in the early aughts. Not my favorite thing, but before I got into laying tile and when the tile jobs were thin, I still had to feed my dogs…

2. Guthrey and Lucas - Chimbo, RVA, early aughts.
2. Guthrey and Lucas – Chimbo, RVA, early aughts.

Like with many other kinds of jobs, I am slower than many in the field. But I am slower because I am methodical and very thorough. We had the whole house painted just a few years ago, but the guy did such a lousy job that it looked almost worse than it did before he started. I pull down all the light fixtures, unmount all the mirrors, remove all the switch plate covers, remove all the doors, hinges, and associated hardware, pull all the HVAC grates, and tape and tarp everything else. There was quite a bit of drywall repair and what felt like miles of caulking to do as well as some exterior drywall ceiling work!

Scaffold 1
Scaffold 1

I like to be careful as a rule, but to add to the fun, all the carpet in the house had been replaced in past few months and anything that isn’t carpeted is either tile or hardwood that I installed. So I wanted to make sure that no drop of paint or other material went astray. And though this is not the largest town house in the world, it is three stories tall, and occupied with three other folks for most of the work time. When I finally finished for the day I did not have the gumption left in me to get clean enough to touch my computer, find a paint free zone to set up in, and type out some of the things in my head.

Scaffold 3
Scaffold 3

Now the house has a new face, much of the sorting in the TWO storage sheds has been completed, I have gone through half of the attic, and have finally carved out a nice clutter-free place to think, write, and work.

Where the magic happens!
Where the magic happens!

That is all I will hit you with for the moment. I have to wrap this up so I can write some other stuff. Thanks for hanging in there and prepare for another trickle of content here at Bone of Contention!

Where the sleep happens...
Where the sleep happens…

2 thoughts on “Renfroe?”

  1. What a shame to have the sale fall through…but, emptying a house and painting, etc. will make it a little easier to swallow. I’ve often thought that when we fixed up a house to sell, we could actually stay put–once the junk was disposed of and everything was freshened up.

    • Thanks Mary. It is much nicer now, though we do still face the challenge of not having a “one-floor-living-space” for Pappy. He can still manage the stairs well and sometimes going up and down them is his biggest exercise of the day. You have to find the bright sides 🙂

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