I had a whole day without any interruptions to work in my studio. I was certain I’d be able to get my Tree quilt designed. Even when the dogs wouldn’t stop barking and I saw Mahlon and John pull their wagon into the backyard, I didn’t think it would affect my workday.
It had finally stopped raining for more than a day and they were here to paint the house.
Jon was driving our neighbor to the bus station in Glens Falls, so I went out to say hello to Mahlon and John and see if they needed anything. They asked if their horse Pepper could drink from the animal’s water bucket in the barnyard then took off his tack and tied him in the shade of the apple tree.
“I wanted to show you the color of the paint before we start,” Mahlon said to me.
He noticed how different it was from the color swatch we gave him, but the name and numbers matched up. We had chosen a blue/gray leaning towards purple for the house, but the color on the paint can looked more like seafoam.
Mahlon sprayed a test patch on the back of the woodshed and I went online checking out the Sherwin Williams paint name and number to try and find out where things had gone wrong.
I’m still not sure what happened. When I looked up Sky Blue and the number I had given Mahlon up came a color I’ve rarely seen in the sky. It was a color I often refer to as Hospital green and use it a lot in my quilts, but it was not the look we were going for on the house.
So I called the hardware store in Hoosick Falls where Harlon bought the paint. I didn’t expect them to take the paint back, but I thought they might be able to change the color by adding to it.
The woman who answered the phone was very helpful and said she’d was going home soon, but she’d wait if she knew I’d be coming in soon. I told her I’d come right down.
Twenty minutes later I was unloading my car of six gallons of paint. The woman behind the counter saw me coming and told me to pick out the color from the swatches in the display that I wanted. She put a sample of the paint and the swatch I chose into her computer and said she could do it by adding a little red and green.
I thanked her for her help and she said, “Well we want you to be happy with the paint we sell you”. Next time I need paint I know where I’ll be going to buy it.
Driving home I glanced down at the paint cans in the front seat and the small dot of blue paint on top of the can looked like a dull gray to me. Oh no, I thought, the house is going to look like a battleship. It’s going to be so depressing especially in the winter. I began to wonder if we could change the color again.
I called Jon who was on his way home from the bus station. “Just tell me it’s ok,” I said to him. “I’m sure it’s fine,” he told me. “But if you don’t like it we’ll get a color you do like.
I know how colors can change depending on the light, the color they’re painted over and the surface they’re painted on. Give it a chance Maria, I said out loud. And then I reminded myself that there were a lot worse things than painting the house a color I didn’t especially like.
When I got back home Mahlon and John had taped plastic around the windows and moved all our stuff on the back porch. They had taken a ride to Stewarts in town and were finishing up some ice cream. Then Mahlon covered the first color he had painted on the woodshed with the new color and showed it to me.
It took a moment to register how much I liked it. When he got the whole wall done I was certain. It was even a better color than the one I had in my mind.
As long as it doesn’t rain, Mahlon and John will come back tomorrow to finish painting.
Before they left, Mahlon asked if I would sell him the bell on the top of the house. When I told him that I loved the bell he said it was rusting a little and would be it alright if he painted it with black Rustoleum. “I brought it with me,” he said.
Makes me think he likes that bell as much as I do.