An Unhappy Place in My Head

Yesterday, I finally began the slow, arduous task of painting the deck. Even though I haven’t yet found someone to complete the replacement of deck boards, I decided paint needed to go on the scraped and sanded boards.

Only one coat has gone on part of the deck, so the appearance may improve with a second (and possibly a third) coat. I hope so. The one coat I put on yesterday gives the planks a uniform color, but the cracks and warped boards show through the paint.

I still have plenty of surface preparation to do. But I want to paint the areas that are ready for painting to prevent the sun from doing any more damage to the bare wood. So, I did some touch-up sanding yesterday and began painting. Today, if the weather cooperates, I’ll finish the surface preparation on the area I started painting, finish applying the first coat to that area, and apply a second coat to the section I painted yesterday. Then, on to the next section. I suspect the job will require at least ten days; that’s because I can’t do very much at a time before needing to stop and rest.

Temperatures yesterday while I was painting reached the upper eighties. There was a time when such heat didn’t bother me, but that time has passed. I had to stop working and come inside several times, just to rehydrate and cool off. The painting part of this project will take far longer than I anticipated, simply because I don’t have the stamina to plow through the job. If I hadn’t already spent close to $2000 on the project so far, I think I would start from scratch with a decking company and have them remove all the old decking and replace the entire thing. I got a bid of $11,000 to do that a couple of years ago; I suspect a competent decking company would charge twenty percent more.

I don’t know if it’s my age, my sedentary lifestyle, my battle with lung cancer, or a combination; whatever it is, I just can’t do the work I once was able to do. There’s so much that needs to be done around the house and yard, but I don’t have the strength or energy to do it. And I can’t even find reliable, competent people to pay to do it for me. I have visions of dozens of projects that, if ever completed, will make our home a more appealing, more attractive, and more comfortable place to live. But those visions seem, this morning, to be more hallucinations than dreams. I’m not in a happy place at the moment.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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