Monday, June 16, 2014

Two Old Chairs

Next Monday we move out of the parsonage and the next day move into our 'forever' home! Gary was recognized as a retired pastor by his conference of the United Methodist Church and also by the local church he has been serving. 42 years of service in an official capacity has ended.

We had a big sale this weekend and cleared out all our treasures. They found loving homes, which made me very happy. We had many antiques rescued and restored. We also had lots of rescued treasures that were shabby but comfy. Like the two brown chairs, shown below, that we bought for $10 each at a garage sale.
The chairs amid other things no longer with us
Our neighbor's mother had to give up her own house to move in with her daughter's family. Her treasures had to go. We looked at these chairs, 1984 chairs with a pineapple print on brown fabric, and she immediately ran to our side to tout their comfort. We bought them. She was so thrilled, and it was obviously not because she made a lot of money from their sale.

We loved those chairs! They were SO comfortable! We considered reupholstering them. It would cost $770 labor plus fabric. But our retirement home is a 1969 ranch, quite small, and we need small scale pieces. We had decided to decorate in Mid Century Modern.

We agonized over letting them go. We were selling the 1920s couch we upholstered in red velveteen, and the 1915 lamp with the silk beaded lamp shade. We were selling the treadle sewing machine with the Sphinx motifs. We even decided to part with the 1940s rocking horse that had served three generations of Bekofskes. But could we part with these shabby chairs?

We put the chairs in the sale and prayed that they did not sell. If they were still there at day's end, we'd assume it was 'meant to be' for us to keep them.

People flocked to the sale before we even had everything outside. Within an hour a man from a block away came. He has been restoring an 1898 house, intending to make it into a Bed and Breakfast. He needed old things for decor and for use.

His wife sat in the chairs! And they bought them right away. They were so comfortable, they said. They will be the third owners of these chairs, each owner won over by their comfort. They also bought the sewing machine, which will look lovely on display there.

We joked together that we'd have return and stay at their B&B to sit in those chairs again.

At day's end we were left with books, junk, and a Depression era berry bowl set. Everything had gone home with other people.

The silk beaded fringe lamp went for a fraction of what we paid for it at auction twenty years ago. But the woman loved it so, and her new (second marriage) husband was so sorry he could not afford it. We had enjoyed it for twenty years. It owed us nothing. They had $20. The lamp went home with them, the wife beaming with joy. There is a large migrant population in the county who work picking asparagus and fruit. They came looking for practical things, sprinklers and mops and towels. A gal loved the reverse painting on glass old window I painted a few years ago. I hardly expected anyone to care for it. I even sold oil paintings by Mom, my brother and myself. I tried giving away some small things, only to have quarters pressed into my hands. People are basically decent.

We made good money from the sale because we were selling nearly everything we had. We sold at give-a-way prices. People HUGGED me they were so happy. I was happy too, knowing that things I loved would give joy to another family.

So I learned the joy of letting go.

Our years in parsonages have included good times and bad times, loving and joyful people, and unhappy and sometimes mean people. It is time to let go of emotional baggage as we are letting go of the physical things we have carried. Trusting that we leave behind good memories, small tokens that will offer comfort like a comfortable old chair.