Friday, August 28, 2009



Rescued chair

I know a lot of you are probably pretty tired of seeing the lifeguard chair and the contest posts. You are no doubt thinking it is time for a change. Well, I agree wholeheartedly, however; my friend, Christine, coincidentally posted a story that coincides with my lifeguard chair and my affinity for salvaging unused items- white elephants that noone seems to have a use for anymore. These orphans of the world deserve a chance for life anew.

This post is a tribute to those items. “A different sort of civilty.” is the title Christine has given to her insights on inanimate items. She has given me permission to post her story here. I must say that I agree with her completely. Her blog address is Her stories are intellectual as well as entertaining. I hope you will visit her there. In the meantime, here is her story of the lost and found discarded items of humanity.

A Different Sort of Civility

Summer 2001. Woods Edge in Durham, North Carolina. I hear an early knock on the door. Gwen Spizz excitedly apologizing tells me that there is a loveseat left at the dumpster. "I know you don't like the killing of furniture so I thought we could bring it over together. It's got couple of casters." No need to ask if it needs repair. Gwen knows I will mend it. Her expression, "The killing of furniture" has stayed with me ever since. It could be considered a subset to my Theory of Inanimate Objects. The Reincarnationists believe souls come back in all manner of living creatures but what if I'd like to return as a washing machine? At a very young age it seemed to me people did not treat their belongings with appreciation and respect which led to their falling apart. I remember reading that Emily Bronte was polishing the staircase the day she died. Now that's a writer after my heart. She took time to attend to objects. I was saddened when living in Eureka in a house built in 1851 and divided into apartments, one of which had been a bookstore, to discover white plastic chairs strewn around the backyard. At one time somebody had planted roses which grew in wild chaotic exuberance. I thought the garden a lovely setting for reading in the afternoon but I wasn't going to sit on something moldy and gross. I didn't know the chairs were white until I started cleaning them up. In a fit of alarm at their neglect, I took some paint from an art project and wrote, "Be Kinde to Chairs" across the top in fancy script. I felt a lot better. The tenants didn't notice but much of what I do goes unnoticed except for the recipients of the attention. The chairs fairly preened. I guess you could call me a Restorationist, a devoted recycler, instead of a Reincarnationist. I have rescued doors, frames, clocks, teapots, sofas, table, laundry baskets, turned a computer into a planter and revitalized a Wonder Horse. It had lost its handle bars and part of the top of the mane was missing. I threaded a wooden spoon through the holes and glued it with Goop, which Ellen Sachtschale, the potter, suggested. I placed a hat with a sunflower barrette of the "brain damage" and festooned her with ribbons and beads. I gave her to Jennifer Brady to hang from the rafters of her house when I moved from Roanoke. That's one of the rules: pass it on. As soon as I was finished with my Intensive Care of the various misfits, I would take them to Goodwill and wish them a fruitful journey. The horse remains only as the profile picture on Facebook and the Blob. A wicker settee found a place with Vietnamese newlyweds with instructions to send it on its way if they ever wanted real furniture. Is this all because of abandonment issues? Or a form of, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you," or is it simply Feng Shui which declares that the placement of furnishings (appreciation) is a stepping stone to harmony. Perhaps, it is the fact that I saw so many with no possessions when I was an impressionable child. I don't analyze it. I just do it. I was pleased when Henry about four years old, proudly told his little pal who was crying over a broken toy, "Mimsey fixes everything." Yes. At least she tries.



...may the blessings from the Land of the Discarded roost along your path...

I hope you enjoyed this story from Christine and that you visit her blog..

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