A House Makeover

As to be expected, Mom’s grasp about us moving has proven to be spotty. She knows we’re heading out of state next year, but multiple times she has shared quixotic views about the situation. Last night, as I tucked her and Princess into bed, she asked about moving to Washington state where one of her brothers lives. To keep her spirits up I reminded her that we will be moving several hours north, much closer to him but not in the same state.

Yesterday morning I caught her mildly forlorn. After asking what was wrong she responded with, “We have nowhere to go.” I scanned my brain quickly to translate what she was alluding to. A few questions later I realized she was referring to us moving, but I had no clue as to what she meant by us not having a place to go to. A few follow up questions did nothing to clear up the context of her worry. Ah, the world of Alzheimer’s. I reminded her that there is still a lot to do before moving so it won’t be happening until sometime next year.

Her concept of time has faded considerably, so the “big moving day” is fluid, taking place both tomorrow and months from now. Sometimes I wonder what exactly her thoughts are like and how she sees the world, both philosophically and physically.

I started fixing up Mom’s house ages ago, first starting with sanding and repainting her kitchen cabinets. (Thank you Cathy and Ling for helping out that first day!) Determined to prove that I am capable of adult tasks, I aimed to take care of a majority of the work myself. Thankfully Dad stepped in after a few months and offered to help. Honestly, I would not have gotten as much done as I have without his assistance and guidance. I’m a hands-on learner so YouTube and advice don’t always suffice.

Our latest project is to repair and paint the exterior of the house. There are a couple areas of siding that need to be replaced and the paint colors, buttermilk with a rust trim, are outdated and not exactly complementary. We were supposed to begin the exterior work on Labor Day weekend, but Dad’s legs have been acting up so he’s unable to do any physical labor right now. Itching to update a major portion of the house, I opted to start painting the sections that didn’t need repairs on my own. Here’s a sneak peak of what I’ve done so far:

Being creative, I am enamored with color palettes at paint stores. The names, like “Pool Party” and “Moon Dust”, tickle me. I can’t help but imagine what I could do with them, accent walls and ceilings slathered with intentional vibes. Molding and doors alluding to Cuban sunrises or the iron-rich soil of the Southwest. I easily am swept away by the possibilities of it all.

Picking a color, or two, can be agonizing for me. For months I have gawked at houses online and in neighborhoods around my town. On many occasions I have proclaimed to have found “the one”, only to change my mind again. Finally I narrowed it down to gray with a white trim, but of course that’s not a straightforward decision. What shades should I choose? How dark or light should I lean? Cool or warm tones?

I exhausted myself and committed to a choice only once I had arrived at the paint counter at my local hardware store.

“London Fog” and “Chalk”.

These colors may be bland to some, but you have to remember that we’ll be selling this house. It needs to be modern and universally appealing. Neutral colors tend to avoid controversy by satiating contemporary tastes, or they can be like a “blank” canvas for homeowners with more eclectic style choices.  As much as I’d like to play around with colors and personalized aesthetics, I think the outer limits of my creativity should be saved for when I purchase my own home.

So far I’ve finished painting about 80% of the front portion of the house. I can’t stop staring at it. A few times I pop outside just so I can revere the transformation. There’s still much to be done before we move, but I am already really anxious for when I’ll have proper before and after photos to share.  

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