Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One Man's Trash....

Every Monday, THE FLYING MONKEY and I leave a little early for school. I tell him it's because traffic is heavier on Mondays.  But really, it's because Monday is trash day.  And on trash day people put all sorts of treasures out in their yards. 

This week, I found this nice piece of furniture.....or at least it was nice until I got ahold of it....

 I *believe* this is an antique china cabinet, but I may be mistaken.  I drove past it at least six times and then decided to run some errands and come back to see if it was still there.  It was.  Fate.

Part of my reason for driving past so many times was because I wasn't sure if it would fit in my vehicle.  I drive a Honda CRV.  They're not known for excess cargo room.  The other reason was because I didn't want other parents see me loading someone else's trash into my car.  I DO have an image to uphold, you know?

So when I got back to pick it up, I did my standard procedure to make sure it would fit in the back of my car.  I stood next to it.  You see, I know that if I flatten the back seats in my CRV, I have exactly 62 inches in length available for cargo.  And I just happen to be 62 inches tall.  So anything that is taller than me won't fit.  Brilliant, huh?

As I was performing my scientific measurement, the owner of the house came outside and offered to help me put it in my car.  I asked him if the piece of furniture was taller than me.  He thought I was odd.  I told him I didn't think it would fit.  He said we'd make it fit.

I asked him if it was an antique.  He told me his mother bought it when he was a child and then asked if I thought he was an antique.  I almost said "YES", but instead I spilled my Starbucks all over his driveway.

So we made it fit.  It's 64 inches tall.  I've measure it since then.  With a ruler.  We had to move the driver and passenger seats forward.  We had to push it in.  Hard.  But we got the tailgate/hatch closed on my car.  I was happy.

Happy until I heard a gigantic C-R-A-C-K as I was driving the 2.2 miles home.  The glass in the door shattered as I was driving.

I probably deserve an award for not thinking things through:
  • The cabinet should have had some sort of padding around it.  
  • I probably should have taken out the removable shelves. 
  • I should have thought about how I was going to get the furniture OUT of the car, by myself.  You see, I was home alone that day and I had to return to the school to pick up THE FLYING MONKEY at 3pm.  And there was nowhere for him to sit.  And there was glass all through my car.
I thought about knocking on a neighbor's door and introducing myself and then asking for them to help me.  Nice and neighborly.  I eyed up the UPS man when he came to deliver a package.  No, probably not a good idea.

Then the school called to tell me THE CRAZY CLOWN was sick and I needed to come get him.  And bring a vomit bucket, because I may need it.  Great.  For one quick second I thought about having him ride atop the cabinet so he could vomit into it if needed.  But then I realized he's too tall and there wouldn't be enough headroom.

So I did what any insane person would do.  I backed up car up onto the sidewalk (totally illegal) and pulled this monstrously heavy piece of furniture out of the car BY MYSELF.  And left it on the porch.  In the rain.  With the FREE sign still attached.  As I was driving to get THE CRAZY CLOWN (with vomit bucket in tow), I had an insane moment of panic when I worried that someone might drive past my house and see the FREE sign and take my beautiful piece.  Then I laughed.

When I got back home, I realized why you shouldn't shove an antique piece of furniture that is 64" long into a 62" space.  It cracks the wood.  Like the whole back piece of the thing.  Cracked.  Broken.  

The furniture sat on the porch in the rain for a little over 24 hours.  I couldn't get any of the MANLY MEN that I live with to help me get it inside and my back was already hurting from lugging it out of the car.  I finally bribed them with Dairy Queen Blizzards and my piece is in the house.

But now the glass is missing.  And the back is cracked.  And it has water damage.  And last night I was removing the shelves and got the top one wedged in at a weird angle and it won't budge.  I'm thinking of pouring melted butter on it.

I had grand dreams for this piece of furniture.  I've refinished antiques before, quite successfully I might add.  Strip, sand, prime, paint, decorate.  I planned to use it as an accent piece.  I was thinking of painting it a bright color and covering the shelves or backboard with a coordinating wallpaper, then replacing the pulls and handles with shiny new ones.

Or I may just move the piece back to my front porch and hang a FREE sign on it.


  1. I love finding treasures like this and re-purposing them, just don't think I have as much fun at obtaining them as you do, Jennifer!

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  2. It is a beautiful piece of furniture. Re-purposing is fun. Thinking about the broken glass, I wonder if you could use a fabric insert or something similar? Anyway, for that much effort I hope it turns out well..