Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Painting for Habitat

I figure everybody has talked enough about You Know Who and What Happened to him.  I've got a busy day on Wednesday so let me post  early, be brief and change the pace a bit. I am not going to say a word about You Know Who or What Happened.

Always on the look-out for something new to report,  I found out Beaven and I had a chance to take part in a Habitat for Humanity build. We've always wanted to do that so we took it as a great adventure. The Habitat people in Mt Pleasant were having a "Women Build" and Peggy Rounseville is the interim pastor at the Presbyterian church in Mt Pleasant.  She's also part of a very unique bible study we have in Winnsboro, her former church.  I've talked about it many times before.  It's a bible study that combines the mainstream denominational woman of the town and the local drug and alcohol rehab center across from the church.  So Peggy figured the Habitat build was the perfect project for the ladies from the Rehab. 

You can imagine Beaven's surprise to be invited to take part in a Women Build.  In order to qualify as a "Women Build" you have to have at least 75% of your team be women and we were well within that range so it didn't hurt to have him. Peggy brought her husband, too.

It didn't really matter.  We didn't need the men at all but they didn't get in our way.  Our job was pretty tame:  painting.  Women have been painting their own houses for centuries.  In fact, I would bet money that most home interiors are painted by women over the years.

I  tape and bedded our unfinished garage almost as soon as we moved into it in 1977.  Then I painted it baby blue.  When Beaven got upset because he thought baby blue was a "wimpy" color I told him the next time  I painted the garage by myself I would paint it pink.

Women do a lot more home projects than you might think. And, to be quite frank, men only get in our way sometimes.  I used to wait until Beaven went out of town then would invite Linda Peavy to come help me with my latest project.  We called ourselves "Mertz and Ricardo" and our wallpaper was famous for it's permanence.  Beaven would return home, set his suitcase down in the entryway and smell for fresh paint. If he didn't smell paint he knew he could expect wall paper or new furniture. 

We were excited at the idea of taking the ladies from the rehab to work on a Habitat house. About the only thing different about sending people from a rehab to help with this was the tiny stipulation that you had to pass a background check per one of Habitat's rules. Except these ladies were in a drug and alcohol rehab and ...uh, well...we found out about half of them have felony convictions.

So here are Beaven and I driving two of the Ladies Without Felonies to Mt Pleasant.  And we got a short education on the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor.  The short answer was that it depended on how badly you hurt someone and what kind of weapon you used.  The woman who had beat up her husband with his own crutches got off on a misdemeanor since crutches aren't that bad of a weapon.  Not like a gun, for instance. That would be a felony, for sure.

These are the ladies who taught me a few years ago to "never get arrested in the middle giving yourself a permanent."

There's always something new to learn if you pay attention.

Anyway, I also found out you can paint an entire 1,100 sq ft house inside in less than two hours if you have enough people.  We were almost in each other's way, bumping rollers into ladders and stuff.  The Habitat folks are well prepared, well-equipped and quietly but firmly Christian.  We had a lot of fun and felt good about our work. It was a pretty quiet job.

We also found out the perfect way to have a group photo.  After all these years I got to be in the group photo of my dreams and probably every woman's dreams. The banner we stood behind covered everything but our faces.

Oh, and the reason to never give yourself a home permanent when you're about to get arrested?  Because the cops won't wait for you to rinse the solution. They will take you straight to jail without waiting for anything. This was told to me by a woman with a 2 inch bald spot at the edge of her forehead.  A woman who has been drug-free for the three years now since she first gave me this bit of wisdom. A woman I now call my friend.

2 comments:

VLB said...

Good to know about the home permanent! HA. What a wonderful time - RT and I hope to do more of this type stuff when we retire. Oh, and as for painting garages. HE painted the inside of ours Burnt Orange (as in "hok-em horns", but no, not solid. In geometric shapes! Gotta love him. Never a dull moment!!

Claudia said...

Yes, VERY good advice about perms and getting arrested. I've learned so much from you! :)