The Writer's Cramp 8/17/21
Uncle Walter’s Desk
We got a wonderful old desk from Uncle Walter. It had lots of drawers, made of nice dark wood. The top was large enough for a computer,( the desktop, not a laptop) and a lamp, and some stereo speakers. A great wonderful big desk.
So we put it on the trailer and brought it to its new home, our turn-of-the-century little house.
“Will it fit through the door?” I asked John. We forgot to measure, a crucial mistake.
“Put it down,” he directed. With a big ‘oof’ he dropped his end and I gently put my end down.
“What if we turn it just a bit to the side? Or perhaps…”
“Go get the tape measure. Let’s be sure before we lift the beast again.”
I scurried to the tools, found the tape, ran back.
John measured all sides, then cursed. “For the love of everything … it’s a 1/4 inch too wide.”
“You’ve got to be kidding. Really?” I grabbed the tape.
“And why would I lie?”
I measured the length, width, with drawers in, with drawers out. “What if we take the top off? Would that help?”
“This is an antique. If we take the top off, we ruin it. No, Penny, we don’t take the top off.”
“But we would be gaining that 1/4 inch. Then we could get it into the house, through the door frame.”
“NO. Not doing that. It’ll ruin the desk. We’d never get it back together right. It’s going in the garage. Pick it up, let’s go.”
So that’s where Uncle Walter’s desk sat for a year. Until this summer.
We are remodeling the bedroom. And one of the upgrades was new windows. To do the new windows, we had to take out the old ones, of course. Then we found we had to rebuild the wall. So the entire side of our house had to come out.
“John, you know what we could do…”
He sat on the ladder, scared of what I might suggest.
“No, I don’t have any idea of what you might be thinking. We’re not changing any of the plans we’ve made. The windows are here, the drywall is here, the insulation is here, the paint is here, the new lights are here, the new flooring is here. What possible thing could we do?”
“Remember that desk?”
“The one in the garage? I thought we’d given up on that.”
“It’s a perfect time to bring it in. Through the studs. Is there room? I’ll get the tape.” I measured the opening. Sure enough.
“You will be the death of me. I suppose you want to do this right now.”
“No time like the present.”
So John and I moved that antique into the house. It went in through the construction zone and on to the study. As John puttered in the new bedroom, I set up the desk. Gone was the old laminate one and in its place was the beautiful wood antique beauty. Shined up and ready for service. I placed my computer just so, the antique lamp on the corner, and the stereo speakers on either side. Perfect.
I sat down. Time to write.