One thing I’ve always done, every since Horatio first started traveling for extended periods of time, 20 years ago, is redecorate to pass the time.
It all started when we lived in Scotland. Newly married and isolated in a small town on the west coast of Scotland, I was bored and lonely and watched whatever American television I could find. I watched Oprah every day. She was my link back to the U.S.
She had decorating tips on the show even back then and I used to try to implement them. I’d move pictures around, move furniture around, buy accents. Horatio never knew what he might find when he returned from a trip to Brussels, Amsterdam, The Hebrides, etc.
As time has passed, my redecorating efforts have increased. I’ve progressed to moving large furniture, with the help of Dwight, my muscle man 11 year old son. I plant flowers and bushes and seed the grass. Once, I painted a bathroom.
Horatio left on Friday after a great two week visit. While he was here we talked about painting the off white/yellow family room.
I dropped Horatio at the airport at 9:30 and by 10:00 I was at Home Depot buying paint, rollers, brushes, tape and more. (We’d already chosen the color we’d seen at our friends’ house on Christmas Eve.)
I drove home, moved furniture away from the walls, climbed up on a ladder and started taping up the trim and ceiling.
The taping took 2 hours, requiring some precarious balancing for the peaks of the vaulted ceilings, and was tiring, but I probably would have started to paint at that point had I not had 4 children asking when we could have dinner. They have a tendency to need to eat a few times per day.
The next morning I was painting by 8 am. I banished the kids to the playroom/rec room in the basement and they were pretty good about giving me the time to paint. Once, Dwight came up to talk with me and put his hand on the wet wall. He learned his lesson. Surprisingly, Harold was pretty good about it. He came up to talk to me several times, but kept his hands off the walls.
The painting took 3 1/2 hours. (Thank you Behr for making paint and primer in one step a possibility!)
Later in the afternoon, I took the tape down and moved the furniture back, and that took another hour.
I love the results. I rearranged the furniture while I was at it, of course, and love the new arrangement, too.
The thing of it is that when there is no spouse around for conversation, or, let’s face it, needing meals, help, or other such attention, things get done a lot faster! Of course, in most ways it would be easier to have a spouse around during big projects to take care of the rest of the chores around the house, but the projects keep me busy and I love to see the immediate results.
So, I’ll probably keep changing things around and Horatio will worry about the changes while he’s gone, but love it when he returns, as always. That’s the way things go…