It was bound to happen, we spent last weekend on home improvements at Bill’s house. No party invitations, no driving north for a day of exercise of some form. We squeezed in a quick hike up the tower trail of Sleeping Giant on Saturday morning, I got a five-mile run in on Sunday morning, but the rest of both days were dedicated to spackle, bleach, scrub brushes, paint. Bill started painting the back of his house while I spackled and sanded indentations made from nails driven into newly replaced shingles that had already been primed.
While Bill freshened up the white trim under the gutters and around the slider and windows I got busy washing and prepping the side stairs and porch. With the nozzle set on jet I aimed the concentrated stream of water along the floor boards and railings. Loosened paint shot off the porch, landed in the driveway and the ivy growing along the cement base. Next I washed everything, using a bucket of bleachy water and brush.
On Sunday, I learned how to use an angle sander. Once my ears were ensconced in noise reducing headphones, my eyes protected with clear goggles, my nose and mouth covered with a dust mask I was ready. Overheated but ready. After a quick lesson I started at the top railing and worked my way down, sanding the planks of wood until they were smooth and free of any chipped, flaky paint.
Prep work completed, back of the house left to dry, Bill started painting the side porch. Not satisfied watching, I rummaged around the shelves in the garage, moving spray cans and tools until I found a stash of paint brushes. Choosing a brand new angled brush I joined Bill on the steps and started painting the railings. Once or twice we both reached into the can at the same time, bumped into each other as we moved up and down the steps. We didn’t talk much. By the time we had finished the two landings and sets of stairs we were anticipating and coordinating our moves. We ran out of paint but all that was left was the underside; Bill bought another gallon on Monday and finished the job.
This isn’t the first time we’ve attacked a project; we’ve hung blinds, painted rooms, installed pergo flooring and grouted linoleum tiles. We’ve worked in large rooms and cramped spaces. There’s never a lot of chatter and there’s rarely any arguing. We work well together.
We both pulled clean up duty; washed brushes, returned tools and ladders to their designated spots in the garage. A long, hot shower helped loosen my tired muscles.
And our reward? A late dinner of all you can eat sushi.