We became friends while working at the same place. She had a business in home remodeling and had showed me pictures of the work she had done. Even had a business card. My addiction to “Flip This House” and “Property Ladder” got me interested in this whole remodeling scene. I loved to paint; it’s zen to me. Watching the paint go on the wall, the sound it makes, the familiar smell of it reminding of Pop, the way the chemicals interacted as it dried to a slightly different shade; wonderful! Not to mention the exercise I recieved as a bonus! I was becoming very interested in carpentry, especially the finish and trim work. I expressed all this to her and she invited me to work with her for a day and if I did well she’d hire me on as part of her crew. A dream come true! I was excited to say the least and couldn’t wait for the day to arrive. I bought some new brushes, a 5-in-1 tool and a roller pole and headed out to the job site.
It was a small apartment, one bedroom, one bath that were being sold as condos. The location was prime so the price was high. My task was to take down the wallpaper, repair and sand the drywall and prime it for painting. I started in the small bathroom. The wallpaper came down pretty easy with a few minor dings that were easily repaired and sanded smooth. Behind the toliet tank was a whole other story. I couldn’t get my hands back there to remove it. I asked where the water shut off was so I could remove the tank. She looked at me like I was nuts. “Just go as far as you can. I ain’t bothering to take the tank off. We’ll just paint over the wallpaper behind it”. Huh? That’s just gonna look like crap! I told her as much. Her eyes narrowed and she leaned in a little closer than was comfortable into my personal space and said, “Just do like I said to do and quit wasting time”. I didn’t feel right about this, but seeing as I was the new kid on the block I did as I was told. The bedroom was easy and had it finished by the time everyone started winding down for the day.
Quittin time was at 5pm. I had finished the bathroom and it had passed her inspection, behind the tank and all. I still needed to do the wallpaper trim in the living room and clean up. She told me to finish up, close and lock the windows and make sure the door was locked behind me when I left. I refilled my squirt bottle, got the ladder and started in. Ran into a few spots where the glue just wouldn’t let go and had to repair the drywall. I finished up around 9pm, had the mess cleaned up and into the dumpster, windows locked tight. tools put away, checked the windows on the outside to make sure they were locked before closing the front door and checking to make sure it was locked. I felt good about what I had done and went home with a smile…tired but oh so happy.
The next day was painting…YAY! Everything had been primed the say before and was ready. Again, I started in the bathroom. The ceiling had been done by the time I got there, so I tackled the walls. It was tricky getting the wall above the where the tub/shower ended, but I managed. Decided to brush it instead of roll it because of the tight fit with the ladder and the space. The bedroom was a breeze. The carpet had been removed because we were installing a wood floor so it was just bare concrete and I didn’t have to worry so much about splatter on the floor or on the trim. Granted, I worked slow. Hey, I was new and still developing my skill. Besides, this wasn’t my house so I wanted to do a better job here than I would in my own home. “You’re too slow. You’re gonna have to pick up the pace.” she said, eyeing the walls that didn’t have a drip or roller mark in sight. Well, I knew that I was slow, but it wasn’t a race or anything and she knew from the start that I was still developing my technique and skill. But I took the advice and promised to develop faster. After lunch I watched as they laid the wood floor. I learned about leaving a gap for expansion and examing each piece before it was set for dings or bad marks. Once the floor was laid, she showed me how to use a pneumatic finishing nailer gun…a tool that I fell madly in love with! I carefully observed how the measurements were done and watched how they were cut on the miter saw. I nailed down the trim with a goofy grin on my face and would step back to check my work. The trim was nice and snug on the floor, no gaps, the nails were nice and sunk in just below flush and looked smooth. How could this be called work when it was too much fun!!!! Then we started putting the door trim back on, my gun hung on my work belt like Sharon Stone in “The Quick and the Dead”. All in all, it was great. I got paid, the realtor was happy and had sold the unit 3-4 days after it went on the market. I had found my niche and looked forward to the next job with gusto. If I had only known…
-- "Creativity is...seeing something that doesn't exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God."