Painting can be good therapy. At least when you don’t have a child at the bottom of the ladder saying “I want to help you paint. I want to help you paint. I NEED to help you PAINT!”

N&J&M are gone to school, my painting helper is gone to the sitter, and I am alone with my thoughts and a paintbrush. It’s getting a little hot out there, so I’m escaping to my basement for some coolin’ time.

Here are some of the thoughts my mind wandered to while I painted and gazed out over the rooftops of my neighbours…

1. In this world of changing fashions, why hasn’t tiny white paint specks on the face become a trend in cosmetic design?

2. Is the backyard neighbour leading as sad and pathetic a life as I THINK he is? From my vantage point on the ladder, I had a great view of his well-manicured yard that only HE enjoys. He’s got a nice deck with 4 chairs around the table, but in the 6 years we’ve lived here, I’ve only ever seen HIM sit at that table – enjoying his barbecued steak alone. It looks hopeful – that yard of his – like it was meant to be shared. But the only eyes that gaze upon those flowerbeds and ornamental trees are his. And occasionally mine. I suspect he looks at our messy yard with some loathing and I KNOW he’d like us to trim our overgrown trees so that they shed less leaves on his yard. Perhaps, though, he looks at the swing set with some mixture of jealousy. And perhaps, when he throws the stray balls and Frisbees back into our yard, he wishes he had a reason to keep them.

3. One other question about the backyard neighbour – did he have a family tragedy this past weekend? He left the garden hose strewn across his yard. Yikes! I’m afraid that only a tragedy could cause him to be so careless and MESSY!

4. Is it a sign of the onset of insanity if I talk to little green worms? I was concerned that it might be Maddie’s friend BooBoo and I didn’t want to be the cause of his untimely death, so I urged him to get out of the way of the killer paintbrush.

5. In what universe is it considered good family relations to pick a fight with the daughter of your new wife about the lack of Biblical basis for her new role as elder?

6. If a ladder falls in the backyard, and the only person there to witness it is lying unconscious on the ground, does it make a sound? (Don’t worry, it’s just a hypothetical. No ladders fell.)

7. Will the new neighbour next door leave the back yard as overgrown and unkempt as the last one? If not, I’ll miss it. Partly since I’m rather fond of the wild look and partly because it makes OUR yard look almost manicured. But I’m sure the other neighbours won’t miss it – especially the one who was complaining about the hornets’ nest forming under the unruly pile of compost in the corner.

8. Is unkempt a word? Is kempt?

9. Am I ANY closer to building some semblance of a team out of the ragtag group of people I’m supposed to be leading? Did ANY of them get any value out of our recent team retreat? Is it worth the bother? Do leopards change their spots?

10. Why is it that every time I climb the ladder I forget one of the things I was supposed to bring up with me?

11. If I paint the trim of the house dark green, does it mean I’ll have to paint the fence and the deck the same colour? If so, perhaps I should have thought of that BEFORE I went to all this trouble.

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