Being There

I painted our house the other day. It’s a small, ranch-style house, so don’t get too impressed. My dad and father-in-law chipped in, too. But I spent most of the day, every day for four days, standing outside of our house scrutinizing every last detail of my amateur work. And during that process, I met more neighbors than I could have possibly imagined.


The first day, I was in power mode. I was slightly annoyed when passersby stopped to tell me they liked the color or to ask me what I was planning to do with the shutters. But by the second day, I found it amusing. People I had never met before stopped on their daily strolls to comment on my progress. Or to compliment my work. By day three, I felt downright proud of my contribution to freshening up the neighborhood.


I had so much positive feedback that I found myself daydreaming about a second career in house painting (until the soreness kicked in). By day four, I had found my groove, and I was excited to show my new neighborhood acquaintances the finished product. They were curious about the new light fixture. The new house numbers. What I was planning to do with the landscaping. (Landscaping…?)