A Thing I Learned About Painting

For those who’ve left comments, I offer apologies for not responding. I am still getting the hang of this; the links, menus, widgets and submenus…

Recently I saw a show on PBS about ‘changing the brain to change your life’. I tuned in, partly because PBS shows tend to have fewer commercial breaks.

The host suggested that we have the ability to improve the health of our brains, which in turn improves the quality of our lives. To do this there are 7 principles to follow. I watched for a while, because I was curious for myself …and Sidney Crosby. Here is some of what was suggested:

  1. Use food as medicine. And eat like a gorilla, i.e. plenty of seeds, nuts and greens and low fat proteins. I’m not sure the gorillas eat low fat proteins…I’ll have to check.
  2. Wear a helmet to protect the head. Yes.
  3. Exercise the body: walk, run, lift weights. Blood flow…oxygen, you know…
  4. Exercise the brain. This requires stimulating each of the four quadrants on a regular basis. So if you think you’re warding off Alzheimer’s by doing daily crossword puzzles…time to rethink. The host equated this behaviour with going to the gym, doing right arm curls, leaving the gym, and thinking you’ve had a workout. I’ll call the brain quadrants a, b, c and d.

a)      True, crossword puzzling will stimulate this quadrant, but a steady diet of ‘same old’ is rarely good; so’ mix it up’, he said. See how many words you can make using the letters in ‘narcissist’. Do a math problem.… ‘If a train leaves Station A travelling west at 120 kph, what time will it intersect with an eastbound train leaving Moose Jaw at 9:00 am EST….’ ( for the record, he didn’t give that particular example. I made it up)

b)      Do hand-eye coordination exercises… juggling is good or learning new dance steps. Mennonites should stick to juggling.

c)      Learn something new. Every day.

d)      I can’t remember ‘d’.

Six years ago I learned something about painting. We had just bought this house. The exterior needed to be painted and since neither of us is fond of ladders, my husband went in search of qualified painters. He started by asking for recommendations at the various local paint and hardware stores. After one crew received several ‘thumbs up’, he sought them out by going to the house they were currently painting.

At first the paint-speckled lead guy pretty much ignored him. But my husband is persistent and continued chatting. So the guy said, ‘Yay-yah…, maybe we kin git to you fellas in Octoba…,’ (It was June).  But my husband chatted on and happened to use the word ‘cash’.

Later that day a white van pulled into our driveway and two of the painters emerged to ‘look the job over’.

The following evening we arrived home to a see buckets and hoses strewn about the deck and four guys washing/prepping the house. ‘Wow,’ we said to each other, ‘this is good’. Friday evening, they were back. They scraped. Early Saturday morning they arrived with brushes and paint. They painted.

‘How long will the job take?’ I asked during one break.

“We’ll be here (pronounced ‘hee-yah) tomorrow…then next weekend…maybe we’ll git done next Sundi,” one of them said.

Sunday morning, a large pot of coffee was on… but no white van appeared. It was 8, then 8:30, then 9, then 9:30. I decided to phone the head guy. This was the gist of our conversation:

Him:  Hello

Me:  Hello, it is Mary calling. From Port Mouton…I am wondering…are you painting today?

Him: The boys didn’t pick me up this mornin’.

(Silence on both ends.)

Me:  Are you coming later today?

Him: The boys….they was out partying (pronounced like ‘pottying’) last night. They didn’t come to get me this mornin’.

Me:  Will they be coming to get you later?

He says: The boys was out partying last night. They ain’t comin’ to get me. (Pauses) They’ve been partying.

Me: So you aren’t painting today.

Him: No we ain’t there (pronounced ‘they-ya’).

Me: You aren’t coming today.

Him sounding a wee bit impatient: We ain’t there. When we’re there… we do the painting. When we ain’t there, we ain’t painting. (Pause) We ain’t there.

I get it.

When they are here, they are painting. If they ain’t here, they ain’t painting.


2 Comments on “A Thing I Learned About Painting”

  1. ainslie says:

    That is too funny Mary ! I can hear those South Shores accents when I read this.

  2. martha brown says:

    Not sure if you will get this comment on such an old post 🙂 . but I can totally hear the voices! I will be painting my house in Port Mouton this summer!
    ~martha (Judy + Len Brown’s daughter)

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