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January 24, 2022: Pete Paints

I met Pete thirty or so years ago. One of the first things that I learned about him was that he was a painter. Not the sort of painter that paints landscapes on canvas, but the sort who paints walls and other surfaces. Had he been an artist, things most likely would not have worked out between the two of us, because (unbeknownst to me at the time, I really needed to be with someone who had a more practical bent. And, yes, this is what I ended up with.

Early on, Pete paid our bills by painting. I watched him paint and saw that he was very good at it. He’d had a lot of experience and obviously, very good teachers. I am sure his painter mentors said that he was a quick study.

Pete wisely decided that he did not want to paint houses and interiors for a living. A good thing because I suspect that it’s not that healthy an occupation. He instead hopped on the academic bandwagon and since, has not ever jumped off. He got his Master’s in Technical Communication at Clemson University and his Ph.D. in the same at Michigan Tech.

Pete Paints

Then, after he finished his dissertation, taught first at Montana Tech, and then at nearby Mat-Su College.

Pete has continued to paint, mostly on the home front.

A case in point: A few days ago, I suggested that we go to Habitat for Humanity in Anchorage and see if they had any bookcases for sale.

We found two, purchased them, and brought them home. I figured that I would paint them because these days Pete is very busy doing non-painting things.

And so, I was very surprised when he volunteered to paint the two bookcases. I wasn’t looking forward to doing this. I don’t have enough painting experience, nor did I ever have painting mentors.

I did say that I would sand the two bookcases. It remains really warm here – the temperature was close to 45 degrees at mid-morning, when I did what had to be done. I have to say, it was onerous. I didn’t have a lot to do, but it was quite enough. My impatience must have had something to do with the fact that sanding is a rather mindless task.

Late this afternoon, Pete laid a drop cloth on the kitchen addition floor, opened the paint can, stirred the contents, then propped the shelves up against the cabinet, this after taping cardboard to the wall surface.

I watched him paint the shelves. I then knew why he took on this task. This was because he likes painting, add to this, he also likes being proficient. He paints for the same reason that our friend Bill does woodworking – over time, he’s gotten more skilled. And a higher skill level coincides with a greater degree of enjoyment.

The same holds true for me. I express myself creatively by writing. Words, sentences, paragraphs, come fairly easily to me. And I know to back off for a bit when they do not.

The bookcases, they are a blue-battleship gray. I told Pete they are the color of blueberries.

Next: 25. 1/25/22: Mo Snow

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