My house smells like paint right now. That’s because I’ve been painting. Isn’t it amazing? We tolerate all these tiny imperfections in our homes–tiny paint nicks and too many nail holes from moving art around with the seasons, blinds that need cleaning and dust hiding in places we never even think about looking at…until it is time to sell.
Suddenly, we’re consumed with making the house perfect for strangers as if they are somehow more worthy of the effort that we are. It is wrong. Wrong, I tell you! (yes, the paint fumes are taking over!)
What I’ve found particularly amusing today is the way that different paints smell. That’s NOT the fumes talking, now, I promise! I opened up a can of deep red wine-colored paint and was immediately transported to the first time I ever used that color on a wall. I still love it. I’d forgotten the smell of it–deep and rich–almost as if the color came directly from a real wine. The heady memories in this can…in this room…under these lights: the laughter of friends and family, the smell of really good food and the joy of knowing such love to surround us. I love the warmth of this color and I’ve loved the warmth we’ve lived out in this house. Nephews playing chase and hide-n-seek, chalk drawing contests out on the driveway along with countless games of Monopoly at the table and croquet in the yard…there are lots of great memories here. I’ll pack them with me when I go and they will all be colored in this amazing shade of love.
Standing on a small chair once used in the elementary school where my father attended, I painted out the tiny imperfections over the arch and I noticed that a small drop of the paint had descended from on high to land on the chair. The deep fabulous color streak stands in stark contrast to the weathered wood. I plan to leave it there. When the chair and I leave this place we’ll take a memory with us of good times and continued usefulness…and I, for one, will be grateful for it.
I’ll get this place about where I want it…just in time to turn it over to the next owners. They will no doubt make lots of changes and wonder why I bothered to color in the nicks…if they even notice it at all before they open their own can of paint and begin to create their own memories.
As for me, well, I’m already looking forward to feathering the next nest…after all, there’s no place like home.