Monday, March 30, 2015

Lauren's New Desk

Lauren had been asking us for several months for a new desk.  Even before Christmas, we were considering getting her one as a Christmas present.  I had looked at Ikea or other superstores to find what I could.  All of them were really more than I wanted to spend.

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.

True love?

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!