1. Everything takes longer than you think it should. We estimated two days on the deck. Excuse me while I hold my sides from the raucous laughter which threatens to take over. It took us three days just to sand the deck to the point where we could sweep it off! Oh well.
2. Sweat does not kill you.
3. I really like painting. I know I've said this before but I really like to paint. There's something very fulfilling about loading a paintbrush with paint and applying it to a board or wall or what have you.
4. My latent perfectionist tendencies are still around, no matter how strongly I am generally able to suppress them. Those of you who know me IRL are probably laughing wildly by now, but I do have perfectionist tendencies which I've quashed since they really did a number on my brain in high school and college. They came out without warning while we were working on the deck. You could always tell the parts that I'd sanded because there was not a speck of old paint left on the board, no matter how long I had to hold the sander in place. I rounded off boards and the ends of boards. I was actually very precise about my work, which is in stark contrast to my everyday life. I finally realized what was going on and quashed these too or it would have taken us much longer to finish. As it was, it took me 9 hours to finish the floor to my satisfaction.
5. I really really like power tools. Oh my, what a rush! We got a couple of belt sanders to do the parts of the deck that the rented walk-behind sander was not useful for. I love me my belt sander, especially after I had to hand sand those parts that the belt sanders would not reach.
6. My family is very fun. We turned this into a family project. Of course, Friend Husband and I did most of the work, but all of the children participated at one time or another. As one point, everyone but David was painting on the deck. We got to singing as we worked and it was most satisfying. I really treasured those times with the children and Friend Husband.
7. We are also major geeks. Although we didn't spend much time doing it, we did spend some time debating hot subjects like why Edgar Allen Poe is considered literature and Stephen King is considered sensationalist fiction.
8. We can work hard when we really want to.
9. And usually that's because Dad's the one cracking the whip.
10. I know I've said this before but it continues to amaze me...my depression must be better because I don't give up right away. At one point (well, at many points), I looked at what I'd accomplished (minuscule), then at the rest of the deck (humongous) and want to throw in the sander (or paintbrush or whatever). Instead, I hunkered down and did not allow myself to think about how much was going to have to happen before we finished. In the end, I conquered.
11. Don't judge a color right away. I should have learned this from the last time we painted this deck but I did not. We picked a mellow green color which looked awesome on the paint swatch at Big Box Store. We then purchased a giant 5-gallon bucket of it and lugged it home. After three long, hot days of sanding the deck, we opened the giant bucket o' paint with great anticipation to find...yick. The paint looked the color of rancid pea soup. Or something like that. We were definitely underimpressed. In fact, I think that many of us wanted to upchuck at the color. We did, however, persevere. Once on the deck and dried, the paint looked great.
12. Keziah is a surprisingly hard worker. She was right in the thick of the painting (the one thing the twins could really help us with). We finally had to tell her to go take a break because there was nothing else she could work on for a while. Only then would she leave the work area but she returned many times to ask if she could help now. What a sweetie!
13. I really like air compressors. This probably should go with the power tool thing but it's not really a power tool, right? We borrowed an air compressor from a friend at church because we did not want to power wash the deck and then have to wait two days to let it dry before painting. His air compressor rocked. It cleared the deck and environs of major amounts of sawdust, dirt, acorns, seed pods, and almost everything but spider webs. That should probably be # 13: spiderwebs are impervious to anything but a human hand or a tool physically removing them by hand. Spiderwebs are tough.
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