Sunday, April 27, 2008

Color Enhanced

Through a series of events that span decades and the full range of experiences that might visit a family, I now live in the house in which I grew up. Mostly I am busy with my life and don't give much thought to the fact that in the very same space where we now eat my family has eaten many thousands of meals, or that where I do the laundry is where my mom did quite similar laundry, and so on for every thing you might do during a day. But sometimes I indulge in those memories and think of what it means to have more generations here, living. I am spending more time these days with those thoughts as we contemplate painting the exterior of our house.

I didn't imagine before getting ready for this project what a stumbling place it would be to chose the color. I mentioned to my husband a color of green that I thought was nice, he asked why not go get the color and test it? This seems so simple, yes? But, good luck arriving in a busy paint store and saying something along the lines of "I'd like a green that is fernish, maybe a little more chartreuse." Hah. And making a choice from those itty-bitty cards illuminated with fluorescent light is equally challenging. Given that we're painting hardi-board the color choice will be with us for a decade or more. And though I've lived in this house most of my life, I don't feel I can look to the paint/stain choices of the past for any guidance since I never particularly liked the darkness of it all. Still, thinking of the past is so often a good starting point for future plans.

This is a picture that my brother recently sent to me of our house, the photo was taken about 10 years ago. And this is a picture of the house today.

It almost isn't recognizably the same house, but then you can see how the doors and windows are the same. In the last several years we've had to remove most of the trees around the house. Some were actively falling over, others were in poor health, yet others had matured more than expected and were taking out the fence and constantly brushing the house. The end result of all the arborist's work is in part the loss of the feeling that the house was in the forest. It was perhaps the most redeeming quality of the house as it used to be, it felt very much as though you stepped out of the city and into a quiet place amid the bustle.

This color choice dilemma I think is fed by conflicting desires of how the house should be. It should be much like it was yet entirely different, full of color yet not garish, modern yet classic. The yets! And onward I go because, after all, it is just paint.

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