We're painting the exterior of our house this year. While I had the paint can open for our new door colour, I decided to give our porch bench a fresh coat of paint, too. Even though we bring it inside for the winter, it was still showing signs of wear from exposure to the elements. It needed freshening up and, let's face it, we have a whole gallon of this blue!
That rationale made me smile as I realized how like my Dad I can be, at times.
My parents painted our family home an unusual shade of turquoise and for years after, everything - and I mean everything - was painted turquoise in an attempt to use up the surplus.
My Dad died several years ago and one of my earliest memories is of age 6 or 7, being in the garage with him. (You may have heard this story before.)
I can still see him clearly in my mind's eye. He had one knee resting on the cold cement floor of the garage while he methodically cleaned a paintbrush in an old coffee tin he'd filled with turpentine. The smell of it stung my nose while I watched him dip the brush in the solvent and then press the diluted paint out against the side of the tin. Dip and press. Dip and press. Eventually, he'd wring the brush out against his rough hand, patiently working the paint out in increments.
We talked as he worked, rhythmically, almost meditatively. I chattered away to him, as children will, our attention fixed on the hypnotic motion of the paintbrush. I don't remember the content of our conversation. It doesn't matter. What matters is the time we spent together, just the two of us, while he worked. It took a very long time for him to clean all the turquoise paint off that brush.
Now, 50 years later, whenever I see that particular shade, I'm transported back to my childhood and the cool interior of our garage watching my Dad clean that paintbrush.