I had long forgotten about painting this sturdy oak pedestal, until I came across this rare Polaroid photograph in the bottom of my photo bin. I was riffling through numerous photographed memories, in search of another photo, when I came across this gem.
I don’t remember this particular day that I was painting along side my little sister, Alex, as she played baseball pinball. I do remember the pitted and weathered front sidewalk at 205 North 2nd Street though, and I also remember the front steps. The steps look like stone; however, they are only poured concrete made uneven to resemble large stone stairs. The hand-laid stone retaining wall keeps the yard from caving in on the front steps and the side walk below. I’m certain dandelions dot the clover filled yard.
As newlyweds, Billy and I purchased 205 North Second Street–our first home–in September of 1991. I’d say this picture was taken in the summer of ’92. I was 23, and Alex was 5 years old. This was not my first furniture painting project, but this seldom seen snap shot is a record of when I began painting furniture and working on DIY projects for my very own home.
The picture is deceivingly quiet. Our first home sat high on the corner of two busy streets: Line and Second streets. It was also across from the Firemen’s Beach entrance. Noisy traffic–cars, motorcycles, and vehicles pulling boat trailers– would have come and gone all day. Traffic kicked up so much dirt that dust always settled on our furniture within minutes of dusting it off. It’s hard for me to believe that road dust would not have floated up onto the wet paint. What was I thinking, painting right next to the road like that?
Ahhh I remember now…I was painting in the front yard because this spot had the best view of the lake–not to mention a solid surface on which to paint. Working right there meant that I’d feel the subtle lake breeze caress my face and deliver the scent of fresh water and sunshine to my senses. Living across the street from Conneaut Lake was like being on permanent vacation for me. I took advantage of our prime location every chance I got, even if it meant getting a little dust mixed into my paint.
I have to point out that I’m not using anything as drop cloth. No paper. No sheet. Nothing. That’s how I painted back then (well, sometimes I still do lol). Could I have been that good? Probably not. I see I’m wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt–at least I was protecting myself from stray paint. Of course, this doesn’t mean anything. If you know me, paint inevitably finds it’s way onto my body or my hair. Color spotted skin or speckled hair is my ‘tell’ and how Billy always knows I’ve been painting.