He was mortified.
It was meant to be a nice Sunday evening stroll around the neighbourhood. Spring was most definitely in the air and it wouldn’t be long until the Jacarandas exploded in purple fireworks all over Brisbane. The kids were buzzing with school holiday anticipation and all was well with the world.
Except that it was kerbside collection week.
The footpaths were littered with mountains of ‘old stuff’. Off-casts of trash and the pre-loved from the local houses were in crumpling piles, forming islands along the nature strips. Three legged chairs, fridges without doors, TVs stripped of their copper wiring and striped old mattresses, dank and stained. Rubbish. Trash. Treasure!
The girls loved it. They thought it was ‘for sale’ and they squealed with delight at the sight of dusty old exercise bikes that likely still worked, the collection but a convenient excuse to rid he guilt induced by the site of it sitting stagnant. Plastic Fisher-Price toys, faded from use and love or perhaps from laying deserted under a tree in the backyard. Old timber chairs, CD towers, sideboards with veneer peeling to expose the damp chipboard beneath. I was secretly impressed and a little proud, it didn’t take my girls long to realise what I was subtly going about.
How about that one Mum? My oldest said seriously, pointing to a circle of timber.
No…that one appears to have no legs at all.
The littlest girl pointed at a mouldy old cushion looking up at me all wide-eyed and hoepfull.
Um, no…I responded, glancing sideways at my husband who was picking up the pace, striding away, increasing the distance between him and his hoarding family of girls.
That one! I exclaimed, with a definitive certainty. I scooted across the road and climbed over the pile of old timber off-cuts, side-stepped the tower of empty ice cream buckets and plucked out the heavy timber stool.
It was perfect.
He shook his head with dismay and kept on walking. I carried that stool the kilometer home. With the girls at my heels suggesting where it could go in our house. I could see him listening, the back of his head shaking from side to side. I had big plans for that stool.
I’d been waiting to try it out ever since the Centre had started stocking it and promoting their workshops. No Prep Required! the promo had cried. A lick of the EZ2 Paint Furniture paint would do the trick. First a dry coat of Aged White, another of Sebastian Yellow, a quick sand; rubbing it back to reveal the timber, scuffing the edges just where it would have been scuffed once-upon-a-time. A quick brush with the clear, divine smelling bee’s wax and a buff.
And there it stood.
The perfect farmhouse style, shabby chic, butter coloured kitchen stool.
Well? I asked, eyebrows raised enquiringly, knowing very well that it look totally awesome.
Not too shabby… he conceded.
Not too shabby at all.