The Days of DIY
Today, a nice man called Joe is coming to wallpaper our small guest bathroom. I can't wait to see how the blue/brown botanical pattern looks on the walls. It also makes me a little sad because I can't do it myself. As we've moved into our seventies, there seem to be many things we pay to have done for us, like housecleaning, lawn care, and odd jobs. We absolutely love being in our own house after years of living in condos, where we didn't have much chance to put our own stamp on things, so its fun to do it now.
When Andy and I bought our first home in Waterville, OH (suburb of Toledo), we painted every room in the small ranch house ourselves. Then I decided that we should wallpaper the bathroom. I chose a heavy paper printed with big daisies (what was I thinking?) on a green background. Andy and I pasted up and smoothed out the first strip, then stood back to admire our handiwork. Suddenly, the paper left the wall and rolled itself up on the floor. In a panic, I called my mom to find out the name of her paperhanger and the job was done in a few days.
In our first home in Denver, we papered one of the bedroom walls, difficult because the room had a vaulted ceiling. I rented a scaffold to help do the job, and remember Andy turning the air blue when he put his knee through the paper! Before Alison was born, we papered a wall in her room. I had stripped and painted white an old chest of drawers left behind in our Waterville home. We used the bright colors from the paper to paint the its drawers as well as those in a little dresser. I was always painting, papering or refinishing something. I even painted the family room just a few days before our third child was born (because my mom was coming, LOL).
After our house fire, professionals did the wallpapering, but after a decade or so, I had tired of some of it, so I re-papered and painted some rooms myself, especially as the kids grew up and wanted a different look for their rooms. I especially remember some long evenings of steaming stubborn wallpaper from our bedroom, so it could be painted. My DIY days are probably over, but I have a lot of happy memories of those times.
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I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.