SOME DAYS brand pictures into our brain. Neat pictures. Messy pictures.
Tuesday was my day for both.
I had two grandkids in the house.
A crew of painters swarmed the outside of the house and, for a time, sealed us all inside without warning us. And we have a dog.
Of all the days for the lawn guy to show up to pelt the lawn with drugs again (after only a couple of weeks from the last time he did it) he picks this day, the day we filled the lawn with stuff we moved away from the house to make room for the painters.
This is the day my wife needs to sleep off her previous 12-hour night shift so she can go into another 12-hour night shift. That renders her unavailable, given that she’s unconscious and all.
I held the whole thing together, with the help of my daughter who came over for a visit for a few hours while some work was being done on her house.
I lost it
I lost control in the last hour of the painting team’s day.
Buddy the Dog wanted up and out of the finished basement where my wife had been sleeping to escape the above-ground noises.
I latched Buddy onto a retractable leash because the painters had been painting the front and back doors, opening them every once in a while.
Another “once in a while” came when Buddy hit the top step into the living room.
The painter cracked the front door open so he could carefully peel protective tape off the freshly spray-painted, brilliantly white door.
This crack to the outside revealed three painters at work.
Buddy doesn’t much like humans at the front door. I’ve never seen him snap at anyone. But his bark is a lion’s roar that can make an elderly person leak.
He roared. He lunged.
My retractable leash did nothing helpful.
I wasn’t fast enough to push the thumb-controlled button that throws on the brakes. My reflex was to grab the fire-streaming thread of leash. It burnt through my grip like rope in a tug-of-war with an A-10 Warthog.
I pulled him off the door.
Too late to do the door much good, except to coat it in a texturing of black hair.
I thought that was why the painters looked so bug-eyed.
It was not.
Only when I saw the right front quarter panel of my dog did I realize why the painters looked so shocked.
Buddy was crusted in white.
Somehow, black Buddy had gotten “Supreme White” paint clear down to the bottom of his right front paw.
We did not have polka dotted carpet before then.
I yelled down to the basement, “I need your help!”
My wife came up dressed in a housecoat, ready to hunt bear.
I gave her the dog.
She took him into the bathroom, while I tried to figure out what to do about the carpet. The painters could deal with the door.
I googled “how to get paint off carpet.”
“Soap and water with a paper towel” came up first. I didn’t have time for anything second.
I stepped into the bathroom and there stood Buddy trembling with fear.
I have never seen him tremble like that.
Any anger I had—and I had anger—melted away in that moment.
I would have hugged him, except he was painted and I was wearing my best cargo shorts.
My wife cleaned every bit of paint off of him. Fortunately the paint was water-based.
I got the paint up off the carpet so well that the spots and the area around each spot now looks incredibly clean. Polka dot clean.
Big deal. Carpets can’t tremble.
Evening fell, the painters left, and I took Buddy for a walk.
Somewhere during the day I had managed to take a few pictures of my granddaughter and me. Those are the images I prefer to remember. Trying to keep it positive.
Bible verses for hard days
Don’t swear, be happy
“When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (James 1:2-3 NLT).
We’re clueless, but cheerful
“When times are good,
you should be cheerful;
when times are bad,
think what it means.
God makes them both
to keep us from knowing
what will happen next” (Ecclesiastes 7:14 CEV).
Steve’s paraphrase of Bible verses for hard days
If you swear, call 911
“When your black dog runs into your newly painted white front door, wake your significant other and kindly invite them to express their significance. Explain that your faith is being tested and your endurance just took the last train to Hermann” (James 1:2-3, Applied Paraphrase).
We’re cheerful, but clueless
“In the good times
In the bad times
tears in your beers.
cheers, tears, and beers.
We don’t know what tomorrow brings
but we know who brings tomorrow.
So cheers, warm water, soap, and paper towels” (Ecclesiastes 7:14, Applied Paraphrase).
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