I love the house where we currently live.
It’s old fashioned and charming and quirky. The door frames are wide and the porch is cozy. But it’s more than one hundred years old. When you leave it locked up tight for a week while you spend time in Virginia, a couple of things happen to a house this aged. And when you’ve just returned from a dreamy time at The Farm, the last thing you feel like being greeted at the door with is the smell of Old. Musty. Moldy. Just Old.
When the kids and I arrived home we unloaded the car and let Ryder run free. (He did such a great job on this journey – no car sickness at all. That’s a first for the furry fella. He’s a little notorious for vomiting six minutes into any car ride. This trip Mosely came prepared – for it seems the backseat clean up often falls to her. No one can explain why this is true. Anyway, she brought peppermint oil with her. And whenever she felt like Ryder looked like he wanted to give in to the heaving temptation, Mosely just put the oil near his nose or dripped some of it on the towel in front of him. Voila! Terrible scene avoided.)
We entered the house and settled in, relaxed for a little bit, lit candles everywhere and started up three diffusers in three different rooms. (I don’t care if we sound crazy, old houses smell weird.)
Because I couldn’t entirely fix the situation and because I was a little dissatisfied with returning home from Virginia and because I am who I am, I decided that right then would be a good time to rearrange the furniture. (I didn’t unpack my suitcase or rest my fractured toe, I had other plans.)
If you live in my regular face to face life with me, you know that I have a rearranging problem. I rearrange All. The. Time. That’s alright I think. What’s worse is the fact that I seem to always begin rearranging projects when the time is not right. Directly before having guests. In the living room in the middle of a movie. At two o’clock in the night. Right when I should be packing or unpacking from a trip. It’s a coping mechanism for me. It’s a way to force myself to clean up a place I don’t feel like cleaning, to create a new affection for an area where my affection has waned, to generate contentedness with what I actually already own and where I actually already am. It’s not crazy, ya’ll; it’s self care – alright?
So about a year ago, maybe more, I thought we would be moving shortly. I’ve always disliked the stand our TV was attached to. It’s shiny and glass and it just didn’t fit the look of everything else we own. So, again – thinking we would be moving and I would be able to mount the TV on a wall – I spontaneously sold the TV stand. Remember, that sale took place last year. Maybe longer. As in – 2016. After I sold the stand, I just leaned the TV against the wall on top of a trunk. A year ago.
The day we returned home from Virginia, house smelling of both Old and a various number of essential oils – like tangerine and white gardenia and tea tree, suitcases still packed and lying upstairs, I decided that the TV was really too low sitting on that trunk leaned against the wall. (Mind you, I had already also decided that the tall table and stools in the kitchen would look better in the dining room and that the small table holding the computer would improve the look in the kitchen and those items had already been switched and arranged. Also, maybe the dining room table would look fun in the opposite direction and the bright red bench should find a new home in the hall, which would require the turquoise trunk to be carried upstairs for a while.)
Anyway, my idea for the TV was too much for me to handle on my own so I enlisted the reluctant help of my oldest children, girls who often brag about the fact that they are as tall or taller than me now. Come on kids, it’s time to do something with that new height and adult-like build. Once upon a time my sister-in-law, the one with the eye and the experience in design, stacked up several trunks in her home. I thought it looked cool. And I thought it looked tall. And I figured that maybe I could do just that – stack up a trunk or two – and lean my TV against that tower.
Even as I started I knew it was probably going to look ridiculous. But what if it didn’t? What if it looked awesome and bought me some more time to wait it out before we move to a home where I actually can mount the TV on the wall?
Of course the kids all protested that it was dangerous and unsafe, that the TV might fall, that the trunks were too high, that it would look like a a stack of trunks with a TV balanced on top of them.
Whatever kids. Let me do what I want. It’s nearly bedtime and I want to stack trunks on top of one another and then hoist a ridiculously heavy television set up on top of all of that. And I want to just precariously lean that TV against the wall way up there and I think it’s going to be great so just let me do it already. And help me boost this trunk that’s loaded with all of our winter snowsuits and stuff up here too, for the love. “What about the snow clothing in the trunk, Mom? How will we get to it with the TV on top of it?” Oh kids. It’s summer now. Who can think about winter clothing? And besides, we all know this room will have been through a dozen or more reincarnations before we ever need to pull out those ill-fitting outdated snow suits again anyway.
Everyone complained and you wouldn’t believe how heavy that trunk is to just dead lift up off the ground and on to another trunk. It’s also alarming how heavy our TV is, which lets me know it’s probably kind of old because aren’t TVs light now and did you know that the cords that come from a TV really don’t stretch all the way to the ground and some kids get really squirrelly when you ask them to gather all those cords and just hold the DVD player and the Nintendo in their arms until you can readjust the giant cumbersome TV in your arms while also relying on a twelve year old’s strength to maintain the other wobbly side?
After all that drama, guess who was right?
Yeah. The TV looked like an ad for What Not To Do all teetering in our living room. The stack of trunks looked outrageously silly and I suggested that I just sell the TV right then instead of ever thinking of mounting it on a wall at any home. My other suggestion was to just let it fall and then be done with the whole drama because I don’t even really like movies all that much anyway.
Neither suggestion was met with much acceptance.
In the end I said that we should just wait until tomorrow – maybe we would think it looked better then. Amid much protest, maybe I said something about how I was going to go read a book in my bedroom and maybe the kids said they thought they could handle the entire situation themselves.
I read a few chapters and in my absence a sense of order was restored in our living room. I can’t say it looks all that much better to have a TV balanced on one trunk instead of two trunks, but it does look slightly less precarious.
Also, TV for sale.