The Drop Cloth

We have had several painting projects over the years. One of our last ones was in our previous house painting the basement den.
I went and got the paint and supplies and prepped the room. Of course, this means I moved all the furniture away from the walls and cleared things out. Now, if you ask me, we got dark brown for one wall and light brown for the other three. In case you didn’t know, the room HAS to have an accent wall. (If you don’t know why, ask a woman, she will explain it you.) If you ask my wife we painted the accent wall Belgian Chocolate Mocha (or something) and the other walls Waverly Antique (or something). Dark brown and light brown.
So the trim was taped and everything was ready to start painting and out came the drop cloths. There are all kinds of drop cloths you can use. Ones that are actual cloth (canvas, etc.), ones made of vinyl, ones of plastic, disposable ones, reusable, and on it goes.
The thing that is true of every drop cloth is that it going to be abused. It will be stepped on, pulled, tugged, spilled on, dripped on, and then put away dirty or discarded. All of this is OK. That is what it was designed to do. It is there to help keep the carpet from getting paint on it. The drop cloth has a very specific purpose. That purpose is not very glamorous, it is not noteworthy, it is taken for granted, it is temporary. Yet, in spite of all of this, it is important.
I might be able to paint without a drop cloth and get away with it, but maybe not. My wife might also get away without one for a time. My daughters, well, they must have a drop cloth. Yes, they have helped paint, so a drop cloth was absolutely essential.
This piece of fabric so under appreciated, so seemingly insignificant, serving its purpose saves me a great deal of time scrubbing paint out of carpets. Not to mention the strain on my voice from yelling at my girls for getting paint on the carpet. :o)
Truth is, there are times when each of us feels like a drop cloth. Under people’s feet as they walk over us, being tugged this way and that, problems and junk dripping on us, stresses and circumstances spilling out, and then being thrown aside, discarded in a heap, unappreciated.
There are times when our duty is one that is not glamorous or noteworthy or exciting. That doesn’t mean that our purpose at that time is not essential. It might be just as important, or even the most important of any of the other things happening at the moment.
We can’t all get the spotlight or glamor. Some times we have to settle for knowing that we did our best and accomplished our purpose in a situation.
Several years ago, I read of a high school art class that had a piece of plywood that had made up the top of their work station for mixing paints and painting small projects. They took this piece of old wood that had been abused and ignored for years and instead of throwing it away, they entered it into a modern art contest. It won and ended up on display in a gallery. It was sold and the proceeds went to helping that art program expand some of what it was doing.
Don’t get discouraged if it seems you aren’t getting the recognition or attention you should. Keep doing, keep living your purpose and in time this moment will pass and the next just may have you on display in a gallery as a great work of art.

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