One Gallon of Paint: What It Creates

My daughter and I paint my bedroom a light blue that reminds me of a bedroom I painted the summer I was 21 and living in an old house in Brattleboro. Those hot months, I was waitressing at the Skyline Restaurant, making great tips. On my days off, a friend and I painted much of that house and drank gin and tonics. While my afternoons of G&Ts have long passed, painting hasn’t.

I pour the paint into the pan; my daughter gently sets her cats outside the door and then takes the roller from my hand. I got it, she says. I stand back, offering my pro tips about using enough paint, and she repeats again, gently, I got it.

Truth is, she does.

I pick up the paintbrush and continue cutting in, keeping ahead of her in some kind of way. After a while, she hands me back the roller and heads out to her cats who are stretching their paws under the door.

Listening to the redwing blackbirds through the open window, I wonder about the paint and wallpaper layers in this 100-year-old house. Who’s been here, over these years? Us, now.

“Finding A Long Gray Hair” by Jane Kenyon

I scrub the long floorboards
in the kitchen, repeating
the motions of other women
who have lived in this house.
And when I find a long gray hair
floating in the pail,
I feel my life added to theirs.


About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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6 Responses to One Gallon of Paint: What It Creates

  1. Duncan says:

    I forgot you worked at the Skyline too. That was a sweet gig for a young person.

  2. I love the blue and the Kenyon excerpt. Happy Sunday. I am working away at round three on the summer house painting today. Dreamin’.

  3. Dreaming in the rain up here…. Good wishes for your painting!

  4. Duncan, gorgeous views. Remember the pay phone across the way?

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