Tuesday, January 13, 2015

these very old walls

There is beauty in these walls.  Am I right?  

You are going to have to bear with me for a bit here.  It is all about the paint in our house right now.  Many of our repairs and renovations behind us now, though there are also many planned and many more dreamed of ahead of us as well, we decided it was finally time to begin painting, having not done any since we moved in a few years ago.  It did not make sense to do any until other things messy and dirty and scratchy happened first.  Not to mention that there were some pretty difficult-to-fix leaks that needed to be repaired.

Now.  I can paint.  And I have painted many a room in the many houses we have lived in during our marriage.  But damaged plastered and shifting fault lines in the ceiling and windows recently restored but flaking enormous chips of likely lead paint was seeming a bit overwhelming to me.  There are four rooms in the house that could be described this way. 

And so, the professionals have been called in to do these four rooms.  

We had a funny late night, Jonathan and I, of moving furniture out of a room to prepare for the painters the next day.  Exhausted and punchy, Jonathan decided to give the painters' fancy shoes a try.

I am so very grateful there are people out there who know what to do about unsealed ceilings and crumbling wet plaster.

Our bedroom was likely the most damaged room, damaged from what has been described to us as a rather epic ice dam in the walls and from an attic flooring that was weak and deteriorating on the other side of our ceiling.  And generally, a dirty and rather unattractive shade of green on the walls.  

There was a bubble in the wall.  A bulging bump of wet and crumbling plaster that was decidedly getting bigger and bigger.  In fact, being in a narrow passageway between our room and the kids' rooms, it seemed that it had grown from a crack to a bulge that needed to be maneuvered around to get past it.  Or at least those were my thoughts as I gazed at it in the dark late at night.  It was just beside me in the bed.  And much to my horror, before the damage was repaired, the most disturbing scratching crawling creature sounds came from it during the night.  It looked like perhaps an alien was about to be born out of it.

I am in awe of the professionals who can tame this beast.  Going from crumbling paster.  To lath.

To an actual quiet wall.

Who can turn a doorway that is about a foot too short for Jonathan, even when he is not wearing his fancy shoes, into a door that is not a rabbit hole.

These glimpses into what is behind what we can see.  How this very old house was built.  Evidence of additions and changes and old repairs.  And damage and rot and layers of life lived here.  I am loving them.  I walk around the rooms after the workers leave each evening to see what their work has revealed for the day.

And so, we add our own layers to the walls here.  Our own damage and colors and repairs.  These walls are beautiful to me.  Even before the paint goes on them.

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