Well, despite my aching ribs and against my better senior-brain judgment, I’ve been painting. I’ve been able to sleep fairly well at night which is always my prime objective, but the long list of to-dos has not diminished. It’s been weeks since I used my grass whipper machine. I have a full tank of propane but haven’t used my flamethrower to toast the remaining weeds on the front steps. Still playing catch-up. Why is it that job-jar never seems to empty?

2014-07-28 15.47.27At the beginning of the summer, I’d promised my 11 (soon to be 12) year old grandson that I’d pay him to help me do the three garage doors. I’ve been waiting for a cool dry day and this Sunday was ideal. We’d bought some Marquee Behr paint from Home Depot in a rich cafe au lait colour to use on the new shed in the backyard and on the garage. Of course I just wanted to lie down with a good book and nurse my wounds but he was ready and  willing so I had to step up.

The shed was easy – nice flat walls with grooves in between the Hardy board. We hadn’t settled on a price but that boy bargained like a hostage negotiator. First he softened me up with compliments about my cooking. Then, it was, “Well, Grandma, I don’t mean to be aggressive but we need to talk about how much you think painting the shed is worth. You offered $20 for each garage door and that’s sort of complicated, so how about $10?”

“Yes,” I said without hesitation. What a great deal.

“So Grandma, you said you want to do the baseboards and the walls in your office. How about…

“Ten dollars. One wall only and the trim around the new windows. I’ll pay ten dollars.”


And it is a good deal. I’m teaching him how to load his brush then ensure just the right amount of paint remains so that it doesn’t drip on the floor. How to cut in the corners and use a flashlight to check that the coverage is even.  In the front of the house, the creeping vines that we pulled down last year have left nasty little sucker marks that have to be sanded off. My little ladder-climber is steadier on his feet than I am, so he’s been doing yeoman service prepping the surfaces for painting. He’s a delightful young man, brilliant and sensitive and hard-working. He’s building a strong foundation for the future. Even better for me is the fact that we get to spend quality time together working out of doors.

I love all of my grandchildren passionately. They are each incredibly gifted and special in their own way. There’s so much joy for me to watch them grow and succeed. Remember, they are our legacy – our link to the future. I am grateful to have them in my life. Even happier that they want to spend time with Hub and I.