Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Gallon of Paint, A Ten Gallon Aquarium, and A Six Foot Ladder

I love you Mom but this story has to be written down somewhere! I will retell this story the way I remember it.

The year was 1986 or 1987, either my Sophomore or Junior year in high school. Back then, my dad traveled a lot for work and my mom was always coming up with projects around the house, sometimes little and sometimes big. As Dad was leaving for his latest trip, he told Mom "Don't start any projects while I'm gone." Famous last words!

Mom had been working on painting the interior of the house and for some reason she decided it was time to tackle the fourteen foot cathedral ceilings in the living room. This wouldn't present a problem for most people but my mom is not most people. The woman owns a paper weight in the shape of the number one with the word "klutz" written on the bottom. As kids, we didn't get in trouble for breaking things because if we didn't do it first she probably would!

Anyway, she began painting by placing a drop cloth on the kitchen counter, she placed the step ladder on top, after all she didn't want to get any drops of paint on the counter tops! She poured paint from the freshly opened gallon of paint into the rolling pan, climbed on the ladder and began to paint with the roller. Little did she know but the ladder was slowly moving. Eventually the ladder worked its way off the counter top, sending Mom flying to the floor. When she got up, she realized the ladder had knocked off the gallon of paint, the paint tray had gone flying across the room splattering paint on the wood paneling and the fireplace, the wooden TV cabinet that my grandfather made, and of course the green shag carpet!

So, she began to frantically clean up and then she heard the sound of running water. What could it be? Yes, you guessed it! It was the ten gallon aquarium! Evidently when the ladder fell, it hit the corner of the aquarium and broke it! So in a panic and covered in paint, she jumped into the car and drove to Hulen Mall to pick up a new aquarium. (For you youngin's, we didn't have a Wal-Mart to run to for everything!) Of course while she was there, Mom ran into my best friend Kimmie Kay's mom. That wouldn't be so bad except that her mom worked in the cafeteria at our school and she told me all about it at lunch. Even though she told me Mom was okay, I was still worried about the mess I would find when I got home but more than that I was worried about my mom. I said a quick prayer that everything was okay.

By the time I got home that day, Mom had cans under the carpet and fans blowing under it to try to dry the padding. In order to get the paint out of the carpet, she had brought the hose in from outside and literally washed it out of the carpet. She rolled the TV cabinet out to the back porch and hosed it off. She got most of the paint off the walls and the fireplace. I have a feeling that if you look really close, that to this day you will find some paint splatters on the fireplace!

The carpet never recovered completely and was eventually replaced. The painting of the ceiling was eventually finished. Surprisingly, this wasn't my mom's last foray into painting the house but it was definitely the best painting story!

PS - "When Dad arrived home supper was on the table, as usual. Mom gave us ...a situation report, and then we sat down to eat. Suddenly, the whole affair became too much for her. She looked at Dad, exploded "Don't say anything!", then jumped up and ran to the bedroom and had a good cry." Thanks Dad for the reminder of the rest of the story!