December 28, 2020:

I vividly remember painting.

She chose the color herself, an off-brown she had mixed for her at the paint store. There was shiny paint which went on with brushes, and flat paint which went on with rollers. She let me help. I loved painting. We were making our little home fully ours.

I remember being fascinated by masking tape. We let the walls dry fully before painting the trims. Tape went on first, so that when we brushed the shiny paint onto the doorways it would dry straight, exactly where we wanted it, without smearing onto the walls.

Later she bought unfinished furniture which we painted ourselves. My little dresser was tan and green, flat paint. Then there were two small bookcases we covered with clear varnish or shellac. Sixty years later I have them with me now in my current bedroom.

Those are my earliest memories. Painting, and furniture, and petting the neighbor kitty until she purred. Memories of a place, where places were always meaningful to me. Symbols of a stability which never really existed.