Another Day in the Country

Energizing fall weather

© Another Day in the Country

During this time of year, I always think of Aunt Gertie.

When a few cool days would pop up in early September after a horrendously hot July and August in Kansas, Aunt Gertie would say, “Well, now, I have enough energy to get something done.”

During the summer, Aunt Gertie didn’t stray more than a couple of feet from her trusty air conditioner planted firmly in the living room window. With her books and her photo collections, within arm’s reach of cool air and the TV clicker, she was a happy camper.

When cool air swooped down from the north, however, Aunt Gertie became highly motivated to take on bigger and better projects.

“Now I’m going to organize that storage shed where I have school supplies,” she’d proclaim with enthusiasm. She still had all that stuff even though she hadn’t taught school in years.

One lovely crisp fall day she announced, “I’m going through all of my jewelry. Don’t you just love this weather? Now I can get something done!” She ferreted out old greeting card boxes, bags, and containers with lots of tiny drawers, from here there and everywhere in the house. She piled all of her treasures on the dining room table and declared herself “rich” as she sorted through earrings and necklaces, rings and broaches.

“This was my mother’s ring.” She turned it over in her hand. “There’s a stone missing. I’m going to get that replaced and give this to Kim,” her oldest grandchild.

It took weeks for all the costume jewelry to disappear from the dining room table. Meanwhile, Aunt Gertie was reliving the memories attached to each and every piece. None of it was worth a lot of money but the sentiment attached to each bauble was priceless.

Well, that fall feeling is certainly in the air! It began before September even started, but it took me awhile to trust nature’s flow!

“Here today and gone tomorrow,” I thought when I first felt cool air coming in the window.

“I’m going to repaint those rockers,” I declared to my sister last weekend.

She raised her eyebrows at the news. Rocking chairs aren’t exactly a picnic to paint with all their nooks and crannies, spindles and posts.

Just like Aunt Gertie, I have energy to spare, so I went to the hardware and got delicious colors of spray paint. Three of the rockers would be for my side porch and I chose “Watermelon,” “Meringue,” and “Sea Foam” as my colors — hot pink, pale yellow and Martha Stewart blue-green in plain language — and started spraying.

It took at least two cans of paint for each chair. When I decided to tackle more of the chairs that used to grace the porch of our bed and breakfast, I chose regular brush-on paint, in Hunter green.

My project was getting more extensive and expensive than I’d anticipated. One green chair later, I went back to Clark’s for more spray paint, muttering to myself, “Brushing takes too long; spraying is the trick for painting rockers.”

Sitting on my watermelon-colored rocker to rest a bit, I notice that the spindles on the porch railing look rather shabby. When did we last paint them?

So I headed back to the hardware for a gallon of white outdoor semi-gloss and started painting porch spindles.

It was a very tedious job. Every few feet I was wishing for a can of spray paint; but I knew that spray travels and the wind had picked up. Brushing was the smartest use of all this excess fall energy.

Yesterday morning, I climbed out of bed, a little stiff from all this spraying, bending, stooping and brushing, and hobbled into the kitchen to make myself an egg sandwich. Standing at the stove, I looked down at my feet.

They looked horrible, ghastly, grayish, dead.

“What the heck?” I said right out loud and pushed at my toes to see if they would change color.

They didn’t.

I mean, sometimes my feet hurt, but not this bad.

Then I remembered: I’d put another coat of green spray paint on that last rocker. How the wind had picked up, and standing in the grass, my bare feet had caught the overspray of Hunter Green.

So it’s another day in the country, I’m just half-way through the porch spindles, but tonight I’ve got to soak a little longer in the tub to get that green paint off my feet.

Last modified Oct. 6, 2016