From Where I Sit – Have Brush, Will Travel

Like all good mothers (and fathers), I am available to my children when they need advice or blood, sweat, and tears. For Greg and Carrie, that may involve babysitting our precious grandson Grady. It doesn’t happen often enough because we live an hour away and have full lives of our own.

Hilary is another story. I spent holiday Monday at her condo helping her and Carrie repaint her master bedroom. A couple of years ago, two shades of mauve was the cat’s meow, despite all our moaning about the extra cutting-in required around the bulkhead and with the colour change. ?No, I really love this colour; it looks great with my dark headboard and white duvet,? she protested. Hah!

This time, we ended up painting it all Naples Blue and it looks good?bold, flamboyant, and very young. A few years ago I had a fire engine-red office that I loved, so I guess the paint doesn’t splatter too far from the can. I’ve tried to tell her, though, that many people happily live with a paint colour or job for eight or ten years.

Now it seems that I will be pressed into service once again to help neutralize and freshen the paint in her rental condo. Oy. When Hilary first lived there herself, we went bold. She had a black wall, which dramatically set off her red leather couch. The entrance wall was also black. Most of the rest of the common area was a rich, light taupe. Her master bedroom was olive green, one of her favourite colours. Her bathroom was a beige-y taupe. The second bedroom and bathroom were a neutral off-white. This was all very dramatic and personal. But when she moved out and the condo became a rental, we had to get rid of the black.

Now, with the last tenants gone and some wall damage to repair, we’re set to repaint yet again. Estimates to repaint the entire condo range from $1,100 to $1,700. Needless to say, mom’s rate of ?free, gratis, no charge, complimentary? is more appealing. To save ourselves a second coat, we’ll paint the entire place with some high-quality, good-coverage paint.

So instead of curling up with a good book and riding out these cool, rainy days of autumn, I’m hauling around my step ladder, TSP, drop cloths, paint tray, roller, and assorted other paraphernalia. Let’s hope fresh paint makes a difference in a funny housing market. Oh, and a pox on the last tenant, who didn’t have the stones to tell Hilary he wasn’t renewing the lease. Finding a tenant after most students have settled into a new school year isn’t proving to be easy and is a source of concern for this mother.

In the meantime, Have Brush, Will Travel, from where I sit.