Thursday, July 22, 2010

Taking the Long Way

I am careful how I think about D in the present tense. I don't want to get out on a limb and believe that he can hear me. I also don't want to lapse into "The Year of Magical Thinking" where author Joan Didion worked through her grief by pretending for a year that her late husband was still alive. I'm not judging: we all have our own roads through grief.

But sometimes? I  know exactly what he'd be saying to me at that moment. When I was painting some cabinets today, and getting as much paint on me as on them, I heard his refrain in my head, "If there is a drop of paint anywhere, R, you would get it on you." And that is correct. 

As I prepped the cabinet, I remember he said that the pre-work usually took several times longer than the actual work. So, I did it correctly, just like he would have. I cleaned the cabinets, lightly sanded them, used tack cloth to get the grit off, and cleaned them again before painting. Oh, he would have been amazed that I was actually following his instructions today. His work was usually measured by excellence; mine was usually measured by speed: How quickly can I get this job done? (Can I get a witness on that, female readers?)

So, I had to laugh today as the workers were replacing the bedroom windows. Two very hefty men were having a time getting an air-conditioning unit out of the window. We have central air, but D's medication always seemed to keep him overheated, so he put a window unit in the bedroom for sleeping. He did this with his one leg perched on a  tall ladder. He was amazing.

Anyway, the men tugged and pushed and pulled, and an hour later had the unit out. "Who in the world installed this with so many braces and screws?" one of the workers asked me. My husband the engineer, I answered. "Ahhh," they commented with admiration, which is man code for knowing engineers do everything with just a little extra complexity. D would have been so proud.


Craig Weeks said...

Well, you know I have an engineer's bent for precision but when it comes to all things painting the only good painting job is one that is finished in record time ... or, even better, performed by someone who knows what they are doing (and the evidence suggests that *you* are in that category).

Those guys might also have thought "Well, of course ... when you don't have to make a profit on your work.". :)

Dawn said...

Oh, can I relate to this many of your points in this post.

I am redoing Burrito's room while he's away on the mission trip. I've been working feverishly to get it done - for two reasons: First, to GET! IT! DONE! And, second, to get it one before he gets home on Saturday. There's been a few jobs where I've had to force myself to slow down and do it right.

Hoping you're enjoying the outcome as each project wraps up!

Be blessed!

Pamela said...

Hey Rayanne, it's an yes on the getting the job finished quickly. And agreed on the engineer explanation of getting things done...(I'm married to one as well)
I so love reading your blogs. Bless you!