Home for the Weekend

School has been really stressful lately and I decided the best course of action would be to take a weekend and head home for a break. I wanted to recharge my batteries and be somewhere that people know me as more than just “that guy in my (insert name of course here) class.” I needed to sit in the pew of my hometown church, the place where I have gone every Sunday since…well, before I was born, honestly, since my mom has been a member of the church from when my parents moved shortly after they got married.

In other words, I needed to feel my own history, be amongst my people, and absorb their wisdom. My dad had other plans.

As soon as I walked in the door, I knew something was up. My mom took my duffle bag and offered to do some laundry for me while my dad pulled a chair out for me at the table. He started talking and it took me a moment to realize he was asking me to help him paint the dining room. I looked around. It’s been the same eggshell color for as long as I can remember, but I guess my parents have decided that it’s time to branch out—they wanted to paint it green. And my dad wanted my help. Amazing how they decided to do this on the one weekend I could get home in two months, isn’t it? But they are my parents, and they’ve done a lot for me. They knew I would do this for them; it is not even really an option to say no.

That’s why on Saturday, I got up early and went with my dad to pick up the paint he’d ordered from the hardware store. The manager on duty somehow convinced my dad to use a spray gun, so we rented one of those plus an air compressor to run it. The idea of using something to get the job done faster definitely appealed to me, so the fact that my dad went along with the manager’s suggestion so easily made me wonder if my mother is really the brains behind this change and my dad would rather be watching football and attending bible study all weekend.

We got home and cleared out the dining room furniture–it involved taking the legs off the table–and took down the curtains. We laid down drop cloths to protect the floor from overspray. We had to thin the paint because it was latex based—although the manager assured us that we were using a state-of-the-art paint sprayer that was the best paint sprayer for latex paint they had, it still needed to be thinned before we tried to put it on the walls. We put on goggles and masked up, and then my dad turned on the compressor and got started. I started across the way from him, painting around the doorway with a brush before moving to the next wall to paint around the window. We worked like this for awhile, and then his arm got tired so he handed me the sprayer and told me to have at it. Honestly, it took me a little trial-and-error to get the hang of it. I am very thankful we had the drop cloth down! The overspray was a bit of a pain but we still got the job done faster than if we’d ignored the manager and done everything with rollers.

It took us about three hours to get the room finished. We collected up the drop cloths and brought the furniture back in. The table legs went back on, and we rehung the curtains. Mom insisted we go out to dinner because she didn’t want the paint smell interfering with her cooking. Yesterday, I finally got to attend church service, which I was really happy about, and then family came over to have an early supper in our new (green) dining room.

It turned out that working with my hands and helping my dad was something I needed, too. I came back here right after supper, and I feel better already.