Creative disruption on the home front

Do you believe in horoscopes? Neither do I, but there’s something spooky in the way the prediction I saw in a magazine at the beginning of the month seems to be coming true.

I specifically remember what the horoscope said, because the prognostications for August were so out of whack for this Virgo that I read the entry aloud to a friend.

Learn to live with chaos, the horoscope advised. Invite disorder into your life—it’s the route toward a creative solution that will please you in the end, yada yada yada.

“Yeah, right—that’s not going to happen,” I scoffed.

We Virgos don’t like chaos. We are nothing if not orderly—assuming, again, that you believe in astrology. I don’t, necessarily, but this is one Virgo trait I relate to.

I enjoy being organized, thrive when things are in their place. It drives me nuts when my husband puts a kitchen utensil in the “wrong” drawer or drapes his jacket over the back of a chair instead of hanging it up. (He’s a Pisces. Is that a Pisces thing?)

So, creative disruption is not something I would naturally welcome. But here in the dog days of summer, it has found me.

I’ve been painting the porches. The side landing went smoothly enough, except for a wonky post at the bottom of the stairs that needs replacing. But the job is essentially done, and if there’s anything we Virgos like, it’s getting things done.

The front porch, on the other hand, is not.

Because the porch is large, I opted to do it piecemeal, beginning with the living room side. After power washing came scraping, puttying and sanding—all the prep work that I hate. Only then could I tackle the job I like: painting. I find a Zen pleasure in brushing on the color and I love how nice it looks when it’s finished. All fresh and clean.

Because the weather got hot around the time I began, I had to work sporadically. Early mornings were best. Trying to accomplish anything later in the day made me a little sun sick. How do professional painters do it?

Next came the monsoons. They slowed me down too. And then I traveled out of town for a few days.

But finally it all came together and that side of the porch looks great now that I’ve reinstalled the furniture and plants. But the other side is begging for attention—and now the weather is even hotter.

Meanwhile, my husband is almost done rebuilding the back porch, but the heat has driven him indoors too. He has turned his attention to the kitchen ceiling, which needs replacing due to a flood a while back in the bathroom upstairs.

So here I am, like it or not, living just as the horoscope predicted, in a muddle of messy, incomplete projects. It’s my fervent hope that at least one of them will be finished in time for my birthday in September—a Virgo wish if there ever was one.

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