Last week Clif and I painted and decluttered in preparation for the arrival our eldest daughter Dee, who will be staying with us until her office reopens, probably sometime in September.
Dee can work remotely from Winthrop as well as from Brooklyn. After a year and a half of not seeing her, we are delighted to have Dee stay with us for as long as she can. With the Covid variant spreading across the country, we figured it was better to have her come to Maine sooner rather than later—August was the original plan. Right now, trains and buses to and from New York City are still running, but for how long? Things might shut down again if Covid gets really bad. So yesterday, we collected Dee in Portland and brought her home.
Staying here for a couple of months is much different than staying for a week, the way Dee usually does. For such a short time, living out of a suitcase is no hardship, but for a couple of months it is another matter.
There is a closet in the guest room. However, it was stuffed with clothes I no longer wanted but couldn’t bring myself to give away. Also, the brown doors didn’t open well.
First order of business for Clif: Remove the doors and shave a bit from the bottom so that they can open easily. While the doors were off, he said, “Maybe I should paint them white and give them a fresh look.”
Good idea. While Clif did that, I sorted clothes and cleaned the closet. When I was done, the closet was empty, and there were many bags of clothes to go to Goodwill.
Clif and I regarded the scuffed walls of the empty closet.
“Paint that, too?” I asked.
“Yup,” Clif replied, and the inside of the closet got a coat of paint.
From there, it was on to a small white night stand with drawers tucked in the basement. Perfect to go next to the bed. However, the top looked especially bad.
“Paint the top?” I asked.
Clif painted the top, but then the sides and the drawers with ugly yellow flowers looked horrible.
“Paint the whole thing?” I suggested.
After I sanded off the flowers, Clif painted the whole stand.
And what about the old clunky drawer pulls? Those had to go, and off we went to Lowe’s to buy some sleek black drawer pulls to go with the newly painted stand.
The room looked pretty darned good as Clif noted. Except for the corner with the open metal files containing documents from twenty years ago. Away went most of the documents—I did keep a few folders—and out went the stand to the side of the road. The yellow free sign did the trick, and the stand was gone by nightfall.
Readers might recall that this spring when we bought new chairs for our patio table, the twenty-year-old umbrella looked so shabby that it needed to be replaced. This was a prime example of the “Diderot Effect,” named for the famous French philosopher and what happened when he got a new dressing gown. You can read about it here.
As with the patio, so with the guest bedroom.
Phew, what a lot of work. But it was all done with heart, and how satisfying to get rid of the clutter.
Now, onward to August and to time on the patio.
Finally, here are a few photos of flowers I took last week in between cleaning and sorting.