A New Red Light District?

August 20, 2022 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Liz Cowen Furman –

Brick Red. How hard can it be? Much to my chagrin, I discovered that when one goes to a hardware store to choose and purchase paint it is wise to look at the color before leaving the store.

We were in the middle of the rebuild of our little family motel near Yellowstone in Dubois, Wyoming and had at last come to the painting of the garage. I posted a before picture to our Black Bear Inn Facebook page. We tore out the dilapidated old dog fence left by the previous managers, sent piles of detritus to the dumpsters, scraped, washed and vacuumed the building in preparation. I even found several perfect planters at a garage sale to put around outside and filled them to brimming with petunias that would make the place look inviting to our guests as they ate the s’mores we serve by the river campfire nightly.

After much deliberation, it was decided that we should paint the old cinder blocks brick color with white trim. You know that dark burgundy-ish old brick color.

My nephew, Jake, and I went to the closest lumberyard-only seventy-four miles away!- that carried five gallon jugs of paint, picked out the beautiful sample and commissioned a nice gentleman with the task of turning our world red.

When picking up the finished product I noticed that the sample he put on the color swatch wasn’t quite the color we had ordered but I assumed it must still be wet.
When we commenced painting, the color was very orange. Almost glowing orange. I so wish we could post pictures with these articles as that would be the laugh of the day. We kept saying, “It will dry darker.” But it did not.

The next Saturday, when I went to pick up my Bountiful Basket my dear neighbor asked if we were opening a new “red light district” over at the motel. It practically glowed orange. Ugh.

Since the garage needed two coats of paint I decided to give the guys at the lumberyard another chance. I went in and showed them a picture of my swarthy garage on the iPad. The man who waited on me was mortified; he assured me the next 5 gallons would be the correct shade.

When I picked up the finished jug this time I inspected the color closely. PINK. I couldn’t believe it. The woman at the desk said it is “the best they could do.” I politely explained that we could not have an orange OR a pink garage. So I left empty handed.

A few days later on a trip to Casper a nice man at Home Depot mixed the perfect color for me. It was the exact right color, that is until I painted it over the orange, at which point it turned an interesting shade of brown. I’m thinking the pink might have been better.

Now we have a rather different colored garage. I am amazed, but the new shade is growing on me.

The motel teaches me lots of lessons. This week’s was to go with the flow. I am learning to not sweat the small stuff, and with the exception of a very few things it is all small stuff. I love a saying my Dad would use when we were growing up and things would go wrong: “If this is the worst thing that happens to us today we are set.” He was right.

About Liz Cowen Furman

Liz is an author, artist, encourager, mentor, teacher and popular speaker. However, her most important job is as mother to her three teen-aged boys and being a support to her husband, Appellate Court Judge, Dave Furman. All of whom give her much fodder for her writing and speaking (with permission of course). Find out more at www.lizcowenfurman.com
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One Response to “A New Red Light District?”
  1. Cyn Rogalski says:

    Such a great story!
    Thanks for sharing it with us all.
    My mom used to have a plaque that said, ” Eat a live toad first thing every morning. Then, nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
    She sounds like your dad. 🙂

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