Swap meet

6 Jan

A post-Christmas funk is threatening to settle in at our house.

Like a bad virus, it lurks.

I don’t want to take down the tree and put away all of our garnishes, as kitschy and hodge podge as some of them might be. Like the vintage ice skates with Christmas ribbon laced into them. The pink sparkled reindeer. The collections of Santa photos that date back to when Leeannah was a timid three year-old and Doyle a giggling, drooling baby.

Oh, we have fun in our house in December!

Face it, without Christmas and its light-blinking assault on our regular routine, December would be just one long dark month. Kinda like Januaryfebruarymarch. The three months of blah that now loom.

Usually I fend off the winter funk by doing a little post-Christmas redecorating. I re-arrange some of the knick knacks, swap furniture into a new location, or replace some of our framed photos with newer shots from the past year.

Yesterday I ordered a new rug for the dining room, which is currently a rug-less space. Although we have a new table – new to us, as a matter of fact, a Craig’s List find that I bought this summer.

Solid maple, two leaves, four chairs, $200. Score!

“They don’t make furniture like they did 50 years ago,” I was explaining to my kids this morning. (Because nothing justifies a shopping trip better than making a life lesson for the children.) Yep, I told them, we have a table that will last forever, and a new rug – hand-woven and wool, a steal from Overstocks — that will last a long time, too.

Looking around the house at a Shaker table made by my dad and the black lacquered Chinese cupboard that belonged to my grandmother, I announced that it was important to buy furniture that will last a good long while. Then I saw the wicker Ikea chair.

“Or at least, until we get sick of it and then you can have it for your college dorm room.”

“We can take some of this furniture with us to college?” my daughter Leeannah perked up.

“Sure.” I had some hand-me-downs for my college apartment, including an over-sized rectangular basket that stored our junk and doubled as a coffee table. Good stuff.

I thought about my parents’ big farmhouse which is nook and cranny with old furniture, bits of fun, and random items that could be recycled into something useful. Plus they have lots of crazy friends with similar interests. I remember when I got my first real place after college – a tiny apartment in a Victorian house – my dad and I paid a visit to friends who had a barn’s worth of antiques that they bought and resold. I picked out a mahogany-stained rocker I still have.

“Sure, sure,” I went on to the kids. “If one day we get tired of the new rug or that old rocker there, you can have it for your first apartments.”

Leeannah was thrilled. “This is just like the Gilmore Girls!” she said. Yes, the Gilmore Girls. You know the episode when Emily and Richard Gilmore invited Lorelei and Rory to put Post-its on the things they want to be bequeathed after Emily and Richard die?

Leeannah wasn’t preparing for my demise, but she was ready to divvy up all of our worldly possessions so she could furnish her undergraduate digs. She is, by the way, only 13.

“I get the lizard,” my son Doyle shouted. “I’m taking the gecko to college!”

Yes, of course son.

The next thing I knew there was a flurry of yellow Post-its. According to these markers, Doyle got the basement TV, the Wii, and Pep, the aforementioned gecko.

Leeannah marked the funky flea market chair that I love (picture above). She had her eye on other items, but then her brother got a hold of the Post-its and that was that.

Last I checked with Doyle I was left with the small TV, the maple table, and the Christmas tree.

Yes, you guessed it. The kids are going to go ahead and let me have the now prickly Scotch pine.

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One Response to “Swap meet”

  1. Mary Kay January 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM #

    J. Meant to tell you that I really like dining room table and chairs! Send photo of rug when it arrives if you have time. MKB

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