“Was the house what you expected when you drove up?” Hallie asked me.
“Yes,” I said, “except for the proximity of the houses.” She nodded in agreement. The lots are small and the houses set close to one another.
It’s an old house, and I suppose I like it so well because it's the kind of house and neighborhood in which I grew up. The front door opens into the living room, the bathroom serves everyone, the kitchen is small but workable, and the yard offers possibilities. We had different values when those houses were built.
Friday it rained. Imagine that – it rained in Seattle! Mike gave me a card in remembrance of our 39th wedding anniversary, noting that we were celebrating with a road trip. Calculating that her brother Milo is already 36, Hallie wondered how it would feel to have a child turn 40. “It won’t happen before we celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary,” I replied.
Rain couldn’t keep us from shopping, we agreed, so we enclosed the dogs in the bathroom downstairs with their brand new dog rug and headed out. Hallie wanted us to see her favorite store, Rejuvenation, which was indeed a treat, especially if you like vintage accoutrements for the home.
Our next stop was Pacific Fabrics, where I was proud of Hallie and Nick for immediately agreeing upon upholstery fabric at $8.99/yd. on the sale table. An associate told them that if they would bring in a pattern for the chair bottoms, staff would cut the foam to size with their special knife/saw. That would be the next step.
Back at the house, we let the dogs out of the bathroom, only to discover that Bess – at least we think it’s Bess -- chewed holes in the brand new pet rug. I’m sure it was retaliation. It’s a great rug, though, and I intend to mend it and then maybe even make one, which I can do at a fraction of the price, I assure you. I just don't know what they used for the batting.
So, after lunch, Mike left for an extensive hike with the dogs and Hallie started on the chairs. The set of six consists of five armless chairs of the same size and one slightly larger captain’s chair. She removed the old upholstery from the captain’s chair and one of the regular chairs so that they would have patterns for the foam. Meanwhile, I talked non-stop, updating her on family happenings.
When we could see the old plywood chair bottoms, Nick decided that new ones were in order. That would make the project more involved, but I agree that anything worth doing is worth doing well. The old plywood was thin and bowed.
Mike and the dogs were still out when we left for Pacific Fabrics, but through the miracle of cell phone technology – and the miracle that he had his phone with him – I was able to communicate our plans to him. He was just as happy to be hiking instead of shopping.
Back at Pacific Fabrics we found a knowledgeable associate who cut the foam and imparted helpful tips for the reupholstering process. We also picked up plywood to make the new chair bottoms.
After supper, we measured the fabric into squares and cut it. Then we played a round of “American Trivia,” the game that survived the winter in the ditch at the farm. “I’m gonna suck at this,” muttered Nick, and indeed, he and I were the losers. Mike won, which is sort of amazing. Of course, Mike enjoys sports, politics, and current events. The wonder is that he remembers that stuff.
To be continued . . .
[Photos: 1) Hallie and Nick's house is on the left. 2) Hallie and Nick's house is on the right. Many houses in this neighborhood are of similar construction, giving H+N the benefit of considering how others have remodeled. Both of these pictures show how close the houses are. 3) Bess and Nellie on their brand new dog rug. 4) Bess and Nellie in the back yard. 5) Bess sitting on Mike.]