Notes From The Construction Site: A Board Feat?

Another week in renovation life has come and gone here on Morning Street and I have bored feet, or is it a board feat? We are painting our house one clapboard at a time on saw horses. It saves me from having to maneuver on ladders, something no one here wants to see.

I’ve discovered a lot of thinking time while I paint. Sometimes I think about the boards themselves and how many I have completed. Under my fuzzy math category (which is building exponentially like the aches in my back) I calculated that we have painted 4820 linear feet of 4” clapboards. Picture your favorite mile walk, or perhaps your one mile swim, and that is what I am approaching in clapboards.

Doing a thing is knowing a thing. I know clapboards, and painting, and counting them.

If I could know writing the way I know painting clapboards, I could write a clean, mistake-free mile of pages in two weeks time. I could read my favorite mile walk, being careful not to step in the paragraph changes, and wear my Gortex coat during the sad parts. I would shield my eyes when I turn toward the bottom of the page, and make sure Molly isn’t in danger of being hit by one of my sarcastic comments.

If I could write the way I know painting clapboards, I would create words that stick to the page in perpetuity and possibly brighten someone’s day. My words would slide on the page, smooth and creamy and satisfying.

Like I said, there’s a lot of time to think while painting.

What are you thinking about?

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11 Responses to Notes From The Construction Site: A Board Feat?

  1. Marie DeLuca says:

    Sally u do brighten people’s day just by writing these wonderful stories, you always
    make me smile , keep them coming.

  2. JoAnn says:

    Sally – you brighten my day with your words – whether through your blog or through your verbal words!
    I think a little manual labor is good for us all – it makes us slow down and like you said – think quiet thoughts. I’m not sure you will be sad once your clapboard project is completed but I am sure you’ll be looking for other manual tasks to let your thoughts come to the surface…

  3. Deb says:

    Sally, I just laughed and laughed at this. I can’t wait to read more…I see a book here…or at the very least, a character in a book.

  4. Jim says:

    Hi Sally,

    I found this from a link Barb put up on Facebook. This sentence is great! “If I could write the way I know painting clapboards, I would create words that stick to the page in perpetuity and possibly brighten someone’s day. My words would slide on the page, smooth and creamy and satisfying.”

    I’m in a six week writing class at Grub Street – finally starting that writing of mine that we talked about back in July – and my words are certainly not sliding onto the page. The group I’m working with has crazy good feedback. So, so much I don’t know about writing! I don’t even know what I don’t know.

    Words that stick to the page in perpetuity is now stuck in my head. In a good way.

    • Sally Sally says:

      Jim, Grub Street is supposed to be terrific! Good for you. Guess what? I don’t know what I don’t know either. Let’s start a self-help group. Thanks for checking in with my blog. Sally

      • Jim says:


        Grub Street is amazing and I’m only two weeks in. Even the comments given to other writers make me think “Oh, I should have done that also.”

        Count me in on the writer’s group as I hear that it’s a really good idea to have another writer to send your stuff too. You’ve already got my email address, so send over whatever you’d like me to give you feedback on. I’ve got a piece up on Facebook right now (too long to cut and paste here) that I’ve got to rewrite by Thursday. I’ll post the rewrite as well; I thought people might be interested in seeing how a piece develops over time and with edits.


  5. Lis says:

    Sally, I agree painting wood or staining wood is what I loved when I was working on our house is therapeutic – makes you think or not think which is sometimes therapeutic too! You are a great writer – you bring sunshine to myself & others – your optimisism and sarcasm are a great balance which is why I will say you are one of my Forever Friends~~Keep writing Girlfriend! I do have to say I would like to buy a book about your life at Plymouth State….since I have “forgotten” some parts….ha ha…names will have to be withheld of course….hee hee….keep on writing!! 🙂

    • Sally Sally says:

      Thanks for the lift, Lisbeth. You made my day! Plymouth. Hmmmm. Let’s do some research next spring up on campus. Maybe it will jog our memories.

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