Aunt Bea, just call The Man

(Note the post time and date – I couldn’t help myself and waited until the clock switched. Now I’m going to be late to church because of the stupid festival; see below.)

Ok, Peanut is off at a church-related service project as part of the work toward being confirmed, which happens later this month. She’s been off to that since Friday, and should be back after this morning’s church, and although we normally go to an earlier service, we decided to sleep in and go to the later one so we wouldn’t have to hang around all day.

Yesterday was their only full day at this service project, and a parent was requested to be there from 1 – 7. So I showed up promptly at 1:20 – not because I left home late (ok, I left a little late but not that late) but because the annual Scarecrow Festival was going on. Saturday afternoon, 1pm, there were LOTS of people showing up. With their kids. The kids that don’t have enough sense to NOT step out in front of moving cars.

Did I mention that there’s a river that I had to cross. Did I mention that there was a bridge under construction on a stream that feeds that river. Did I mention the black helicopters? No black helicopters (if there were any, I didn’t see them).

Eventually I get there, and I have to find Peanut. She’s got a bit of an injury so there’s only so many things she can do. One of them is paint. I HATE PAINTING. I’m really bad at it, and I don’t paint anymore. I call The Man. The Man is good at painting. The Man will finish painting lots of rooms in 1 day. The Man doesn’t need to tape or spend forever cleaning the paint off of himself. I am not The Man when it comes to painting.

But today, I am painting. The building we were painting is a new dorm building at the Riverwoods Christian Center in St. Charles (it’s located right on that river I had to cross). The building has 1 large common area and a hallway with 3 sleeping rooms that will hold maybe 3 or 4 bunk beds. The building has 10 foot ceilings. There were ~30 kids and ~10 adults trying to paint this area. ~40 people was TOO MANY in that space, considering that ~30 kids and ~6 adults had no business even trying to paint something. The kids had a painting tool (brush or roller) and a wall in front of them that they wanted to paint. Pay no attention to the fact that the wall had already been painted, or that there was a big open area and all they had was a brush – they’re going to paint it.

After about an hour of fighting kids to get them to paint in some way that makes some sense, they were sent away to get cleaned up and had some churchin’ to get to. That left ~10 adults to paint the ceilings and walls of the common area. This worked a lot better, but (did I mention this yet?) I’m not a good painter. But I was above-average height for the set of people in the room so I got to work on the ceiling. I did manage to get about a quarter of the ceiling painted, which when combined with the others, was sufficient to actually finish painting the entire space. So that was good.

When the day was finished, right about 7pm, I scraped the paint off of my hands and face and headed home to have dinner with The Wife (who was also working today, but on a job that both pays and doesn’t involve painting). I scraped paint off of my watch so I could see what time it was. I scraped paint off of my sunglasses (not that I needed them – it was pretty dark). I wanted to scrape the paint off of my shoes and pants but that was just not to be.

PS: You know what else is good? The other job I could have been doing would resemble a scene from Cool Hand Luke – raking rocks from a field and carting them away to put into another pile. I probably would have been better at that job than painting, but I’ll take the painting over rock raking.

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