I thought about Craigslist where someone's trash can often be someone else's treasure. My thought was that I would maybe buy a used desk for cheap and possibly paint it or fix it up in some way. As I was looking, I found myself drawn repeatedly to several old school desks.
I loved the uniqueness of the desks and the nostalgia of the idea. They were also smaller which would fit Lauren's room better since she has a small room. I also had a school desk when I was a little girl. It had my name painted on the top of the desk. I loved that desk and really mourned when I realized I couldn't quite fit myself into it as easily as I once had.
I ended up finding a desk on Craigslist for $5. I drove almost an hour out of town to get it. When I came upon the road which fit the description of where I was supposed to turn, I encountered a steep driveway covered in several inches of solid ice. I gunned the car to be able to have enough momentum to get up the driveway. However, I got half way up before I totally lost all traction. The car was still for a few moments, and then I started to slide backwards in my huge tank of a Suburban. With the kids in the car, a sharp drop off on the left side, and a wall of earth on the right side that jutted up, to say I was a little nervous is an understatement. I steered the car the best I could as I slid backwards down the hill. I lost total control at one point and hit the wall of earth on the right side. Praise the Lord I had not slid over to the left!
|The desk in its original condition|
Finally, I made it to the bottom and was greeted by an older man driving a truck which was made in the 70's and looked like it had been driven hard every day since then. He, the husband of the woman I had corresponded with regarding the desk, offered me a ride up the hill to get the desk. I parked my car and almost bit it as I got out of my car. Then, as I was reaching for the door handle of his truck, I slipped on the ice and in what seemed like a millisecond, I was down on the cold, wet ice looking up into the piney woods. I couldn't even begin to think what this guy must be thinking of me. I imagined it was something like, "She can't get up the hill, and she can't even walk on the ice." If I hadn't been so embarrassed, I might have broken out in hysterically laughter, because it is sure funny to me now.
|The finished desk|
We got the desk, and I spent some nights and some weekend days refinishing it. I washed, sanded, and sprayed my way to a beautiful desk. It was originally painted a nude brown type of color on the metal stand with a wooden seat and wooden desk top. I painted the metal white. I then decided to leave the desk top and the seat the original wood and just refinish it. My new favorite show is Rehab Addict, and I knew that if the wood had not ever been painted, I should honor that.
So, I left the pen scrapings on the top part of the desk. I also did not sand completely down the two divots which are on the desktop where elbows rested for so many years that it wore rounded divots in the wood. I also did not sand out the carved initials of K.B. + O.T. Who was I to erase Kevin Blackwood and Olivia Truman's or Kathy Bauman and Owen Tatum's love for one another? I wanted to keep every bit of the history alive and well in that desk. Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict would be so proud.
|Lauren sitting and reading in her "new" desk|
So, the desk is finished, and Lauren literally sat in it for most of the day after I finished it. She read books and did a 1,000 dot to dot. I used to love my school desk, and I am thrilled with how hers turned out. It was quite the experience getting the desk, but what I won't do for those kids. I hope she gets years of enjoyment in the chair of that desk. Maybe she can even pass it down to her kids someday!