For the past five days, Aquaman and I have gotten busy.
Painting. (What did you think I was talking about?)
After the boys were all safely on the bus each morning, we'd finish our coffee and head out to the back yard. There, the monster waited.
The back side of our house - and the work the insurance company is requiring us to do to it - has been hanging over our heads since the fall. While Aquaman was gone for several months on a boat, I managed to pull off the siding all the way around the house (you can see the whole process at texasbungalow.blogspot.com). This was the siding the insurance company wanted us to repair. I hated the 1970s era, asphalt crap and refused to repair it and was just certain that there must be beautiful clapboard underneath that ugly stuff. I was right.
But it wasn't in perfect condition - few things are on a century-old house. So we read a few books and talked to a few carpenters and then we started scraping the old paint off. Most of the wood was salvaged, some had to be replaced. And we had to put up a railing on the porch steps. Then we were ready to prime, paint and caulk.
So that's what we did this week. All week. For five mornings straight. I am so tired.
The priming wasn't too bad, except Aquaman sloshed quite a bit on my head while he was up above me on a ladder. Aquaman sloshed a lot of paint everywhere, actually. It's on his hands and arms and in his hair. He even managed to get some on his stomach, underneath his shirt. How does one manage that, exactly?
After priming, there was caulking. Caulk has a very interesting pronunciation that made for a hilarious morning.
"Get your caulk over here," I ordered.
"Don't drip your caulk on me!" I'd warn him.
It was endless.
"Hold your caulk steady."
"Is the caulk still wet?"
"We went through that caulk fast."
"Squirt the caulk in real deep over here."
"You have to get the caulk in every nook and cranny."
We had the best time. We listened to lots of music while we worked - mostly on Pandora. I love Pandora. You should check out this internet radio if you haven't yet. We had Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers radio on most of the time (in preparation for his concert this weekend), but also Johnny Cash, Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Colbie Caillet, ABBA, Steve Miller Band, Foster the People, Glen Hansard and The Cure. Each song would remind one of us of something different: college days or having kids or our parents. And quite a few reminded us, and had us talking about, the past two years and how difficult they've been. Nothing but time to talk while we painted. Strangely enough, talking about difficult times was good.
And today, when we finished, we were grateful. Grateful the job is done. Grateful that we're still married. They're both a lot of work: painting and marriage. They both leave you exhausted at times and beaming with pride at others. Sometimes you miss a spot and your partner comes in to fill in behind you. And between the two of you, it ends up looking pretty damn good.