“Do it Myself”


When I was young, one of my favorite stories was that of the “Little Red Hen.” She keeps asking her friends to help her and they all decline. So she replies each time,”then I’ll do it myself.” Needless to say, this has cost me some genuine help over the years, but it definitely strengthened my “get it done myself” muscles. When I moved into my house as a single mom with very limited income, my do it myself work ethic was very useful.

The house needed exterior painting. I knew absolutely nothing about exterior painting. But that certainly wasn’t going to stop me. I lived a few blocks from a large paint company, and I went in and asked them what kind of paint to buy and bought it. I  paid my nephew to pressure wash the house. This resulted in several large dents in the wood, but he enjoyed himself. Maybe too much! Then I set to work.

I had chosen a beige called “goat,”  reminiscent of my time in the country. The trim was “Crimson Red” after my alma mater. Fortunately “goat” covered white quite easily and so did “Crimson Red.” I used a paint brush and a step ladder and worked my way around the house. I drew considerable attention from the older men on the street. Not because of my dashing good looks in this outfit, but because they all had an idea of how I should be going at the job.

Thankfully, two of them were actually helpful. One came over and started painting, He couldn’t take looking out his front window at me painting any more without helping. The other neighbor actually built a scaffolding on the back side of the house. This sped up the work amazingly since I didn’t have to keep moving the step ladder.

I was completely pleased with myself after the work was done. It had taken the summer, but I had only had to pay for the paint, one brush and the pressure washer rental. I had, in fact, done it myself.

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