The Things We Sit On

Yesterday, a long overdue task was accomplished. Thanks to a Groupon, we got our living room furniture cleaned. For a reasonable fee, our couch and two chairs now look a whole hell of a lot better. Watching the guys vigorously brush them prior to the cleaning, however, was horrifying. Blech!

But this all got me thinking about the different furniture that we have had during our years of marriage. When we got married, we had just graduated from college. We spent the summer in Schenectady – still working our college jobs – before we headed to Missouri for Dan to start law school. When we left, I don’t remember that we brought anything from the college apartment other than clothes and books. Our bed had been a twin bed on a board elevated by four cinder blocks. The dresser was a thrift store throw away. That was all we had, and I think we left it all left behind.

On our way from Schenectady to Columbia, we stopped in Sinclairville. There we picked up the U-haul and our furnishings. We got the maple double bed that had been mine growing up, and which had been my father’s when he was a boy. The bed was a little quirky in its antiqueyness. It didn’t quite fit modern day boxsprings, so you had to have the boxsprings precariously balanced on the edge of the frame. If you got too rowdy, it would plop down into the slats and your mattress than would have a pretty significant slope. It didn’t matter. It was a huge step up from a twin on a board. Rounding up our haul was a four drawer dresser that was also a family piece. We got my growing up desk, which was something that I saved many allowances to purchase with my own money. We had four peach crates full of albums and books. Beyond our wedding presents and several more boxes of books, I think that was it.

Because Dan had come down with mono on our honeymoon, we recruited one of his high school friends to help us move into our new apartment. We walked into our new digs for the first time on the day we moved in. It was right across from the bus station – had gold shag carpet – and it became the first home of our own. Our furniture was just right. The bedroom was too small for our double bed, so the bed went in the living room and became the main sitting space. The kitchen was about a 4 foot by 16 foot galley, so our one piece of new furniture – a kitchen table with folding chairs, also was in our main room. Rounding out our space were the peach crate/tables that held the record player and a few pretties from our wedding. I can still see that place clearly.

Since that first space, we have acquired more space and more things. After law school, we moved to Kansas City and into a brand new apartment complex. It was then that we bought our first couch. It was a blue sturdy sofa bed. We also now had a rocking chair that would be useful to rock the new baby who would soon be joining us.

We bought our house in 1988. The blue couch came with us. We picked up some more chairs.

The furniture that we have now is third generation. In between the blue couch and this, there was a leather furniture period.

When we go to museums, Dan always balks at the “rooms with furniture” displays. I really like them. I think that one of the reasons is that it does bring me into the world of that time. It is the same thing I do when I think of a particular piece of furniture that was in my growing up home, the home of someone I know, or my own home. For my own home, I can picture rooms and the times. I can bring back holidays and just hanging out days. We may not pay much attention to them most of the time, but the things we sit on play their part well.

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