Painting a deck is like adoption…

deckIt all started with a power washer, a bucket of “California Rustic” and a dream… A dream of a shiny, new deck.  Free of nail marks from the last owner’s German Shepherd and our snow shovel.

Last week Brian put over a dozen hours into stripping stain off our deck.  I have a history with C.P.F. (Chronic Project Fatigue, see blog from 2011) so we have avoided this project for 3 years.  After Brian’s hard work, I figured today was my turn to get my hands dirty.

Not so fast Wonder Woman.  First we must remove the “schlep” left over from said power washing and sanding.  I used a wisk broom, small broom, big broom and a putty knife.  2 hours later, I had removed most of the gunk, plus I finally removed 5 plant hangers (the previous owner loved those things…).

It was a beautiful day for painting – breezy and sunny.  My coats of paint dried super fast!  And my mind wandered to this parallel: painting and adoption.

1.  Prep well.

To paint, one wants to jump right to, well, painting!  But we all know a good paint job is best when it’s been prepped well.  I have lost track of the steps we have taken to get the deck painted and it’s only been a week or so.

After 18 months plus of talking, planning, saving $, talking, reading, praying, reading and filling out paperwork, I have lost track of all of the steps.  And we are still waiting on paperwork, for the record.

2.  Gotta wait for the rain to stop.

Sometimes we are reminded we are not in control.   But no matter what we think, painting and rain do not mix.

Our doctor’s don’t have a notary at their office so we have to wait until he remembers to go to his bank on his own lunch hour.  Sigh.  So we wait.

3.  Little to show for lots of work.

I spent 2 hours painting one bench in the corner of our deck.  Part of what I painted today you cannot even see unless you are flat on your back looking underneath the bench or inside a spindle.  But I can tell you it was hard work!

How many times do I hear, “you must be tired of talking about this but, how is the adoption coming?”  For the record, I never get tired of talking about it.  Do you ever get tired of talking about your kids?  Your dreams of kids?  I don’t!  But when there is “little to show” for all the hard work you really are doing, it can be discouraging.

4. Mistakes.

This summer we have realized how much small print we have missed.   And that’s just the beginning!  We haven’t even attempted parenting him/her yet!

I won’t throw Brian completely under the bus here but… We made a big mistake along the way while sanding.  I had shut almost all the windows.  Brian thought they were all shut but one bedroom window was actually open: wide open facing the deck.  Since the sander sucked up most of the dust, Brian wasn’t concerned.  However, the sander wasn’t sucking when he pulled out the leaf blower to get rid of the excess dust.  Ooops.

Brian did a great job cleaning up our room, just for the record.  Lots of laundry and cleaning later, all is well and clean.

5.  Mission Complete?

I hope our deck will get done soon, but I know I will never get it done completely.  There will be another spindle to touch up or edge I missed.

When can we consider the adoption process complete?  I’ve heard it said you’re never done parenting, even when your kids are older.  Let’s hope we’ve done enough prep work to handle that lifelong project.

 

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