Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Rango the Fence Lizard
Just as I got comfy in the bed, the scritch-scratch noise started. I turned the light on to see what I could see. Nothing jumped out at me. Lights off. Scritch-scratch. Lights on. Nothing. I had heard a scratchy noise in the window by the bed last week before I went to Houston; when I got up and looked nothing was there. It was about 5:30 am, so I just got up. Now I wondered if something was here then and was still here.
We have lots of unpleasant critters out here and with the changing weather lately a lot seemed to find their way inside. I killed two scorpions in the bathroom last week. There is a mouse living happily in the garden shed, ignoring the bait I put out for her. She comes out every time I go in there and laughs at me. One day she came out just so she could run between my feet and listen to me scream and see me jump. I’m sure she gets bored in there by herself and takes her entertainment where she can.
I've been finishing up painting the trim for the bunkhouse; the baseboard, window trim, etc. We’re going to put it up tomorrow and Rickie will install the lights and that baby is done! Except for waiting on the plumber to get here. And for skirting and a porch, which we will do after hunting season. I already have a commission from Rickie to make a ground hunting blind frame so I need to get on that pretty soon.
After Rickie and I put the walls, ceilings, and sub floor in a couple of weeks ago, he had to go back to work. (We had already done the insulation.) The first project I did was the floor. We had decided on a self-stick vinyl tile as an inexpensive option and one I could do myself. I used drywall mud to cover where the sub floor plywood sheets meet. Then snapped the chalk line and things went pretty fast after that. Only casualty was a big knee blister!
Next I caulked the seams in the beaded board paneling and began painting. The ceiling is left natural with a clear coat and the walls are painted. My mom was the painter in our family in spite of the fact that my dad at one time made a living as a house painter. I never saw him paint. I don’t think he liked it. I remember seeing my uncles paint. The way they held the paintbrush, gripped low just above the bristles. Making a smooth edge with no tape needed.
Mama was always painting something. She would brighten up our rooms with some bright apple green or red paint. I learned to paint by watching her and I learned that if you want something painted, you just paint it yourself. Even if you are married to a painter. Most of the women in my family paint so we have passed that on. I’m not necessarily crazy about painting, especially as I get older. My hands hurt. But that is offset by the clean feel and look when something has been painted.
I've had Mama on my mind as I've spent these days by myself painting away like she did. I wonder what she thought about as she painted. Sometimes it crosses my mind that this little bunkhouse was the little house I wished I had built for Mama in her last years and I pretend I‘m building it for her now. I wasn't retired then and wasn't out here so that wasn't something in the cards. And she wouldn't have wanted to move anyway. But I always wanted her to have a happy little cheerful house where she could live in comfort and peacefulness. Where I could bring her some homemade soup and she wouldn't have to cook. Except to make me round steak and gravy, which I can never make like she and Mamaw did.
The bunkhouse project has taken its toll on my old self and I was happily exhausted when I finished the last of the trim painting today. I cleaned the job site and myself up, put some homemade vegetable soup on and settled down with the book I’m reading. Just to see Rango the fence lizard on the fireplace in front of my chair. The scritch-scratch mystery solved.
I’m not afraid of lizards; in fact, I like them. But not in the cabin because they can surprise you when you least expect it. The fence lizards love the porch and they will head for the cabin any time you leave the door open for a second. Rickie can catch them but I couldn't catch one if there was a million dollar prize for doing it. I've spent hours trying the box or the towel technique that is advised. No luck.
So. Johnny Rango and I are here together. As the soup cooks and the sun shines through the window on him. I’m trying not to stress him and I hope he is trying the same with me.