A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words


On Wednesday evening I received an email from the craftsman building the sofa table for my daughter and son-in-law.  He wanted me to know that the table was ready. Consequently, I opted to drive my truck to work yesterday and pick the table up on my way home. As I’ve mentioned previously, the the man’s shop isn’t strategically located in a convenient or perhaps even the safest of neighborhoods. Actually, that is probably an overstatement. Just because I narrowly missed arriving at the complex where the shop is located just after sixteen police officers raided a backroom gambling establishment and rounded up a host of folks for illegal gambling, doesn’t mean that the neighborhood isn’t safe. Perhaps “questionable” is a better description. At any rate, all of that took place when I had gone to make the order. Surely, the neighborhood was back to a low-key environment or at least one not in the midst of a raid by the Austin Police Department.


I was pleased the table was ready and anticipated that my daughter and son-in-law would be pleased with the outcome. I made plans with them on Wednesday evening to deliver the table to their home the following day even though they had plans to be away. My job was simply being the delivery guy. After all, I’ve got a truck and anyone with a truck is guaranteed to have friends. Everybody needs a friend with a truck including family members.


Actually, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I steered them toward a Craigslist savings and they were getting a handcrafted table in the process. I anticipated dropping the table off after placing it behind the two chairs where I thought they wanted it placed.


As I was getting into town (Dripping Springs), I telephoned the General to see if she wanted to ride with me to deliver the table. After picking her up, she said that Andrea and Kevin cancelled their plans for the evening and that they were home. That was even better. At least I could see their initial reaction to the table. After all, I had convinced them to trust me on this one. Hopefully they wouldn’t be disappointed.


The table got good reviews by the two of them and they began contemplating what they needed to purchase to set on the table. I tuned them out. They didn’t need to purchase anything. All they needed to do was reconfigure some of the stuff in their house. It is true of them and it is true of all of us. We all have too much stuff. Before you go out not knowing what you need, but assured you’ll know it when you see it, why not be a little more proactive in considering possibilities of what you already have?


The kids have a couple of bookcases that I built for the first home the General and I purchased in 1974. I want tell you how many different homes subsequently become home for those bookcases.  Actually, I’m not sure I can count that high.  “Quality” or”fine furnishing” aren’t terms you’d use to describe them, but I’m pleased Andrea and Kevin opted to take them anyway. I actually previously had them in our current home.


I subsequently had built a similar bookcase for my parents.  It was almost the same size of the two bookcase units that I had previously built. It was along the same design and also fell in something other than the “fine furniture” category. At any rate, when I gave my parents the bookcase, I asked if I could have it when they no longer needed it.  They both say “Yes”.  Consequently, the one piece bookcase unit I made for them replaced my need for the two bookcase unit.  I gave the two piece units to Andrea.  It was before she and Kevin married.


At any rate, I walked over to the two bookcases in their home and removed a couple of items and placed them on the top of the new table. It wasn’t a bad look, but it wasn’t quite right. Shaking my head “No”, I replaced the items I had borrowed from the bookcases and went on a treasure hunt.


I didn’t have to go far. As I wandered through their home, I noticed a canvas picture they had not yet determined where they wanted it to hang. I drew the conclusion because it was lay on a piece of furniture.  Why not placed that on one end of the sofa table? Actually, it could be hung on the wall, but needed to be hung just above the tabletop level. When I simply set the picture on the tabletop and propped it against the wall, I could tell from the body language that both Andrea and Kevin liked it there.


For one thing the colors were complimentary of table. For another, the picture was one Andrea previously purchased for Kevin. If memory serves me correctly, I think she bought it in New Orleans. Kevin’s childhood was spent in that locality and he loves the sound of jazz. At any rate, having the picture on display in his living area will serve as a trigger for him to remember the days of his youth.


Inventorying the bookcases again in the room, I spied another perfect possibility. Several years ago the General and I had given Andrea and Kevin metal sculptured bookends of two black labs. The bookends were large and heavy enough to carry the balance needed on the sofa table. Presto – placing the bookends of the table ignited a sense of “this is perfect” in my head. I know it sounds stupid, but sometimes when I get it right, I know its right. Besides that, the verbal affirmation that Andrea and Kevin were providing was a “feel good” for me. They liked the look.


Andrea and Kevin are Lab-people. No one could be doting over their dogs than the two of them. They are more protective of them than many people are of their children. They represent the quintessential epitome of ideal pet owners. They provide their dogs the gift of family and devote their full attention to meeting their primary needs.


So there you have it. What better objects could have been placed on the sofa table? The picture and the bookends visually trigger things they value and from my perspective, they looked perfect on the table. Well almost perfect.


Turning to Andrea, I said: “Rather than hanging the picture on the wall just above the bookcase, what you really need is an easel to set the picture on”. As I heard the suggestion coming out of my mouth, I knew it would be perfect. Nuts isn’t it? I was energized by envisioning the picture on an easel in my head.  Without saying anything, Andrea walked out of the room and came back carrying an easel. She handed it to me and asked: “Will this work?” It couldn’t have been more perfect.


Later that evening, Andrea sent a text that put a smile on my face: “Thank you SO much – simply stunning!”
All My Best!



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