Enjoy this mother-daughter story about how they help each other and laugh about it later.
The Red Couch
I have arrived at my daughter Isabelleâ's apt. I am helping her move. She opened the front door, and in the middle of all the boxes and surrounding things lying around there stood her red horse hair couch. I plunked down in the middle of the couch, it was still scratchy. I am remembering how she came by this funky old couch. It's red velvet colored horse hair fabric which is rough, with wooden trim on the front sides and along the bottom. It is larger than most couches and styled from the late 1890's. It looks like it came right out of a movie set. It has 3 large cushions across, and when you sit down you sink right into the innards. Relaxing as best I could on this scratchy fabric, my memory starts to play as to how she came by this lump of furniture.
I had come to help my daughter get settled in her first apt. Hiking up the staircase to the second floor, walking around the entire building to find her apt, I was tiring. Then I saw the glass panned door; I frowned at the door. I wasn't sure she was safe behind a glass door. She answered the door with a bright smile, welcoming me inside. I needed to sit down for a bit; looking around she had only one chair, she brought this particular hand-made chair from the Dominion Republic, 3 years previously. It was wobbly, there was no way I could sit on it. I laughed and mentioned that she needed a couch. Obviously an idea popped into her head, her eyes lit up and she said, "There's a thrift store two blocks down, they are having a sale today. They had a couch in their window I noticed it last night as I walked home". I agreed it was a great idea, rolling her eyes, I realized it meant she probably did not have any money to spend on a couch. Mom to the rescue! I would buy a couch. Knowing my daughter's pride in doing for herself, I did not expect her to agree, but she smiled at me ok, mom. Let's walk down right now.
Arriving at the thrift store, we discovered they had 3 couches, each one worse than the other. I personally did not want any of them. Then she discovered a red horse hair couch in the back of the store. It was $10.00, with no rips, or broken springs and at $10.00 it was a steal. When I sat down on the couch it scratched me, it was rough and velvet red. Not a good choice, or so I thought. Isabelle wanted to snatch it up, indicating this was her choice. I groaned as I paid the clerk. Then it occurred to both of us, we had no way to get it back to her apt. Ever the clever woman my daughter Isabelle is, she managed without a car to accomplish everything. She ran outside the store, retrieving a grocery cart. The helper in the store managed to lift one end of the couch and Isabelle on the other end and placed it on top of the cart, balancing it just so. I could only stare wondering how this was going to work out. Isabelle lived on the second floor and there was no elevator. Isabelle quickly devised a scheme to get the couch to her building, and we would acquire another helper when we arrived at the building. Ok, I was game. Placing our handbags inside the cart under the couch, we would push and balance the couch down the 2 blocks. I forgot about the curbs, one side of the couch seriously dipped over the side of the cart as we hit the hard curb; yelling we each grappled for it to re-equal the weight. Pushing harder to push the front of the cart over the curb edge and using the disabled opening on the curb helped. But could we make it stay on the cart for the next two blocks? Balancing, pushing and trying to keep the couch evenly balanced and with its scratchy fabric was a tough job. Both of us were laughing and yelling, together we managed to get the couch to the foot of the stairs. This is where the real work begins, I rested, and she went looking for someone home to help us up the stairs. She found an elderly gentleman, whose name I never got. Just looking at him I was positive this was not going to work. She gave instructions to both of us, Mom you push, whatever his name was would lift, and she would lift too. Easing the couch off the cart was the easy part. We pushed towards the first stair, he lifted, and I pushed and between the three of us managed to get to the landing at the top of the stairs. Whew! Isabelle thanked him by running into her place and pulling a small bag from her counter, it was filled with her freshly made cookies. He gratefully accepted and pulled one from the bag to munch on as he returned home.
Now we had to get the couch around a corner, and down the full length of the building. I turned to her for ideas. She would lift one corner of this scratchy couch, and I would balance it around the corner, the couch hit the metal iron railing and bounced, I pushed and around the corner it went. Our next dilemma, how to get it to the end of the building and inside her door? Isabelle was young and strong, she pushed the darn thing all the way! I opened the door, and moved things out of the way, and she up righted that scratchy thing and inside it went. I needed a major rest. We both sank in the nearest cushion, laughing and smiling at each other. She turned and placed one of her hands behind into the back of the couch and pulled out a paper bag, it held $50.00 in ten dollar bills. We were wowed! I placed my hand into the back of my cushion, and pulled out a shoe with the heel broken off; we could only laugh at the entire episode.
"Mom, you can start packing at any time!" she said to me, it brought me right back to the present. " I was remembering how you came by this scratchy old thing", she laughed and I started packing.