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Painter’s work makes cleaning attic room necessary

March 25, 2012
By SANDY MICKELSON, For The Messenger , Messenger News

God's still giggling.

He had a thought, put that thought into action, then sat back to watch me go nuts.

We all know how anal I am about tossing anything that might still be usable. It matters little how usable, but any use left gives it staying power. That's why my basement is boxed to the hilt and my extra bedroom is an attic room.

Well, my painter - it's great to have my own painter, like a hairdresser or mechanic - came by the other day for touch-up work - my oops, not his. I love having him come because it's like pulling me back 50 years, give or take, and I'm back on the farm going to 4-H.

Mary Lou Mericle, Fraher now, was part of the Nifty Newark 4-H Club. The same club I was in. She went to Eagle Grove school, a grade above me. Her brother Billy was in my sister Barbara's grade.

I'm getting there. My painter, Scott Mericle, is Billy's son. Scott's one of the good guys.

Polite, too. He was painting my kitchen a while back when I was getting over a few weeks of sick. He worked. I slept in my recliner. He finished working, cleaned up and left. I kept sleeping.

"I didn't think I should wake up anybody sleeping like that," he told me later. "And you were snoring."

At least he had the grace not to sneer.

Anyway, Scott told me if anything needed to be touched up, just to let him know. I had to let him know. But it wasn't for what he didn't do; it's because I tried to help put the rocks on the back splash area behind the sink and cupboards and I put them in the wrong spot. When we pulled them off, it pulled off little spots of paint.

Tiny little spots. Three of them. Like three boulders looming above my head, ready to crush me.

I tried, I tried so hard, but I could not ignore those tiny spots on the wall. I called Scott.

Of course, I found other things for him to do, just to give the call for spot removal perspective.

His wife, Kristen, works with him, and they showed up, did my bidding and were ready to leave when I asked him to pull out the stove so I could put a sealer on the new stone back splash.

"I'm not strong enough to pull it out," I told him, adding, "and I've got to stand on a stool to reach the corner."

He took the bait and offered to apply the sealant. Kristen watched to make sure he didn't miss anything. As if a good painter would miss a spot on something like that.

But now, oh hurt my heart, I've got to clean my attic room so he can paint that. And only because there's enough extra paint, good usable paint that should not be tossed.

Such a clever trick God played just to get me to clean that room.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson is retired as lifestyle editor of The Messenger. She may be reached at



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