Thursday, August 20, 2009

Treasure in the Lane

Today I spied a treasure in the lane behind my house as I turned in on my way home from work. It was exactly what this blank wall below the 1891 Bird's Eye View print was longing for. Aesthetically, the cabinet matches the print and the apartment quite well, from its crackled cream paint to the black top which would likely never be seen while it sat atop a hutch, the shelves at eye level. Functionally, it fulfills the real need for storage of books and supplies within my studio. (In fact, I'd picked up a plastic vertical file in the lane a year or two ago for this purpose but could not bring myself to bring it into my apartment and "own" it. It collected dust on the back porch until two days ago when I put it back in the lane. It quickly became someone else's treasure. Funny how the cycle works...)

The acquisition of this antique was not without drama. After seeing the caninet, I continued home and excitedly changed clothes and parked my bike, then walked quickly back to the end of the lane, to the cabinet. A man with two white fluffy dogs was eyeing the cabinet. A woman emerged from her back gate just twenty feet before me, heading toward the cabinet, talking on her cell phone. Both looked, and stalled. When they appeared somewhat disinterested, I ever so gingerly lifted it up and began the 200-foot hobble to my gate. It was a lot heavier than I expected. I tried to rest it on my hip and balance it just an inch or two above the ground, one slow step at a time. I earned multiple bruises. The woman came to help me about halfway there, as she'd finished her cell phone conversation. She was kind. Another woman approached us, with a dog, and exclaimed, I'm so glad you're taking this. Then proceeded to tell me the whole history of the cabinet as it was once hers, brought here from North Carolina. She left it in the apartment on this block when she moved years ago nearby, and now someone was getting rid of it altogether. She showed me how she'd sanded one side, contemplating refinishing it. Then decided not to. Two holes in the back for speakers. Both women accompanied me to the backyard, and we had a nice neighborly chat. They were assured the cabinet was going to a good home. Indeed.

1 comment:

Brenda Sparenborg said...

Your home decor- treasure island?!