Thursday, October 18, 2012

Patience, process, and paint

I've written before about how living in cohousing encourages you to develop more patience - in my case, just a tiny little bit. We've just been through a process that would test the proverbial patience of Job, so you can just imagine what it's been like for me.

Almost a year ago, we decided we needed to do something to spiff up our rather gloomy and somewhat battered entrance. Numerous moves had left the walls chipped and covered in scrapes and black marks, and the dreary - although fashionable - grey paint was streaked and scuffed.

This did not reflect the cheery ambiance of the Pacific Gardens community, we thought, so plans for brightening up the entrance were discussed at two community meetings, as well as at various sub-committee meetings of residents eager to make it happen.

We had votes on at least three - or was it four? - kinds of wainscotting for the hallways, a vote on three different locations for the community bulletin board, and a vote on three different paint schemes, typified as bold, medium, and demure. (For some strange reason, I chose demure.)

It looked like something was actually going to happen. But, after 11 months, the entrance was still its usual, scruffy self.  Some residents were placing bets as to whether the work would be done in 2013 or 2014.

Finally, one night, a cohouser, frustrated after a difficult day at work, came home and decided it would be good personal therapy to paint one wall downstairs a brilliant lime green. It only took half an hour (which was the point). 

The reaction was immediate. E-mails flew back and forth faster than Harry Potter's messenger owls at Hogwarts - not all of them positive. But that bold action seemed to have an effect.  

Soon the gouges in the walls were patched and sanded. Bits of masking tape were placed in strategic locations. Strange notations such as "Star Thistle", "Chinking", and "Acid Rain" (that doesn't sound good!) appeared. 

Now rumour has it the walls will all be painted before next weekend, just in time for when our out-of-town guests arrive for the annual conference of the Council of Canadians in Nanaimo.

So we'll be watching that space - and posting pictures, too, of our splendiferous entrance!


1 comment:

Judy Roberts said...

Yes, Kathryn, I've sometimes wondered about the choice of grey for our entrance hall. I know it's a fashionable colour, and it did offset some of the other attractive -- but stronger -- colours used elsewhere in our building. But still, in Vancouver Island's temperate rainforest climate with its cloudy, drizzly winters -- part of the inspiration for our glass-covered atrium -- WHAT WERE WE THINKING WHEN WE USED GREY PAINT? Be that as it may, I'm most eager to see the new and improved entry hall!