Photos: Side of the house with deck. Front yard, complete with fire circle. View from the deck of the backyard with clothesline.
Looks like this will be another summer of painting. Now that the living spaces and laundry room are finished, it's time to turn my attention to the outside. Oh, boy.
The railing around the deck and porch needs to be painted. Before today I thought the railing was just primed. Poking around this morning I found white outdoor paint in the utility room. Ugh. That's why the paint is peeling - the wood wasn't primed first.
Ohhhhh, this is SO not my idea of a good time. Not that I don't want the wood to be protected and the house to look good. It's not that. It is that for the past sixteen months I have been thrown back into a role that I was working hard to get out of: caretaker of the house. Before we sold our other house, I had finally gotten things finished! Walls and woodwork were painted, floors and carpets were in good shape, and the outside was at the point it could be easily maintained. For the first time I had a yard, with grass, and flower beds, with flowers.
Since we moved, it has been one project after another, and there is still so much to do. Did you see the yard?! There is no yard, just clay, rocks, and weeds. Slopes need to be leveled and fill needs to be delivered and topsoil needs to be spread.... When I say I want to talk to people who know about landscaping, I mean that I want to ask where to begin to think about landscaping with no expectation of action for at least another year...and maybe longer.
The irony is that until about six years ago I had little to do with the yard. The kids played outside, and we kept the grass mowed. Then the kids got older, and I wanted a yard I could enjoy. For the first time in my life I wanted to play in the dirt and plant flowers. Ken and I added topsoil, fertilized, and planted flowers. We rebuilt the front walk and patio. We edged all the flower beds with bricks or stones. I moved plants from one place to another if they didn't do well, and I watched them thrive with the attention.
Then I read that women in/near menopause often enjoy working with their hands in the soil. At the time I didn't know that I was that close to menopause [officially four years this August]. I felt relaxed when I worked in the yard, often for hours at a time. It wasn't something I had to do ~ it was something I wanted to do. And it made me feel good.
My disappointment with all the painting left to do here has to do with where I still need to put my attention. It's not what I want, but it is what I need to do. Maybe someday I will once again be able to loosen the mantle of caretaker of the house.