|My Dad and I.|
Three years ago this morning, my Dad died. He had a "cardiac event" and fell off a ladder while decorating for Christmas. He was only 63.
I learned how to paint from my Dad. We were the house who always had a different colour front door. It went from black, to red, to green, to red and those are the only colours I remember. But I remember helping him paint it every time.
He also spray painted the dying cedar trees in the front garden green since he didn't want to buy new ones. See, the front of our house was always in the shade. Those cedars were forever in season after that.
I also learned how to thrift from my Dad. He decided once, that the pine and broken white tiled kitchen table just wasn't going to cut it anymore. I don't know where he found them, but he found two cement blocks (cool looking ones) and a huge glass table top and decided to put them together. I helped him paint those cement blocks out on the back deck one day. Just him and I.
That table was awesome. It was totally modern in our totally traditional home. Better yet, if you dropped a piece of bacon on it, the dogs would go nuts trying to get at it. I'm pretty sure my Mom hated that table because the underside was always schmagged with nose goo.
The last time I talked to my Dad was November 24, 2010. He told me about a puppy mill that had been found near their town in Florida, and how all the dogs escaped. Malteses and Shitzhus running rampant on the streets. My Dad was pretty excited about it. I was pretty excited about it. Then, he told me, that no matter what I wanted to do with my life, he'd be proud.
I think he knew...I think I knew.
Why am I telling you this? A bunch of strangers who like my furniture, and friends and family who know this story already? Because you find inspiration everywhere. Because it's the huge things - the worst things in the world, that inspire you to do something better. To do something that makes you happy. Mine happens to be old furniture.
After humming and hawing and pondering everyone's (awesome!) ideas, I decided to paint our next piece red. She has her own story which I'll tell you in another post. But with every dip of the brush and every roll of the roller, she was infused with my story too. A story that I won't soon forget - full of paint and sunny days, the smell of damp moss and dead cedar trees, a story of freedom puppies and an immense fear of ladders.
I've been thinking about the colour red lately because it was my dad's favourite colour.