Loving Yellow

Lador Day Weekend, we’re all home Sunday — both girls and myself — and I followed in the family tradition instilled by my father: painting the house. Our previous house was cedar shingled, with paint only on the window trim. That house had many windows, so, most falls, I painted some of the trim or old storm windows, always the same exterior deep blue teal.

My daughter, when she was three, called this Mama velvet-tealing, a neat way of turning a noun into a verb.

While gray is a traditional New England choice for steps, I had picked up a remainder can of exterior floor paint for a mural on the barn door. When I opened it up, the paint sparkled the glossy richness of spring dandelions.

No, the girls said.

Yes, I said.

Later, when the new neighbors walked over for cake, they asked how long the steps had been so brilliant. Since today, said my older daughter.

Once again, I find myself wildly painting. Next, a deep yammish orange for the upstairs floors. Color, the consolation of fall.

…What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow….
— Christina Rossetti, from “Color”

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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