Grandma’s Hutch


So how old does a piece of furniture have to be before it is considered an antique?  For that matter, how do you discard something that holds a host of memories even if it isn’t an antique?  Did I mention that the General is back home after having spent two weeks at her mother’s?  She actually returned on Friday and we left home on Saturday for a long weekend, but now everything is back to normal.  We are both at home.

The first thing I noticed that seemed a little off kilter was when I went to the pantry to retrieve a roll of paper towels last night.  To my surprise, there were no paper towels in the pantry.  How could that be?  Under the auspices of “inquiring minds want to know”, I asked about the lack of paper towels. It wasn’t that I was personalizing it as a personal affront to me, but it’s not my job to stock the pantry. Oops, I probably shouldn’t have expressed it like that.

Maybe it was the way I phrased the question.  I don’t think I accusingly asked: “How did you allow such an egregious error to occur?”  After all, even the General knows that Viva paper towels are a mainstay in our home.  I’m sorry, when it comes to paper towels, “Bounty” won’t work. Paper towels have to be “strong and soft like cloth”.  You only get that with Viva.  It is even written on the plastic wrapper.  Bounty might have been a marginal second choice, but there was no choice at all.  Normally the shelving in our pantry looks like walking down an aisle at the grocery store. We always have rolls and rolls of paper towels. I found the absence of paper towels confusing and slightly unacceptable.

I won’t say the General’s response was like a slap in the face, but her lack of empathy seemed a little harsh. She responded: “I was gone for two weeks.  Don’t you know how to find your way to the grocery store?”  It was a clever move on her part.  Did you see how she methodically and subtly made it a lack of efficacy on my part?  Hey, it’s never been my responsibility to stock the pantry.

As yesterday approached dark, the General asked: “Did you forget you have to have distilled water for your bi-pap machine?  Monday night I realized we were out of the little bottles of distilled water.  But without the bi-pap machine, my night turns into a Hank Williams song: “When sleep won’t come the whole night through…”  As I write those lyrics, a smile intuitively appeared on my face.  The Hank Williams song is entitled: “Your Cheatin’ Heart”. 

“Your Cheatin’ Heart” was my one of my uncle’s favorite song. In the musical prelude to his funeral service, the pianist played that song. It was a really clever way to include his kind of music into his final farewell.  Getting back to the bi-pap machine. It requires distilled water. We were out of distilled water.

I chose not to personalize the lack of water as on oversight on the General’s part. After all, as she so poignantly expressed it, “She had been gone for two weeks.”  That seems like a shorter time frame than “half a month”, but apparently I wasn’t minding the farm in her absence so-to-speak.  I know the way to the grocery store, but I am not a fan of H.E.B.  I prefer Randall’s in Austin. 


I’m old and set in my ways and Randall’s has a better selection of steak and about every other week it is on sale for almost 50% off.  I know you’re probably confused by my reference to steak when I needed distilled water for my bi-pap machine.  I guess you have to read my mind. I am a fan of one-stop shopping.  Why not get everything you need at one time?  Besides that, as I was heading out the door, the General said: “If you see anything you want for dinner, get it.” 

Okay, so it was the trip to the grocery store that afforded me the time to think about downsizing – what goes and what stays with the things in our home? Regardless of whether we sale or whether we stay, the General is on a “de-clutter now and save the kids” from what she’s been doing at her mother’s for the past year.

To begin with, that’s an unfair analysis. Her mother has been in the same home for well over sixty years. We’ve only been in ours fifteen years this month.  We couldn’t possibly have accumulated as many “throw-aways” in fifteen years as her mother has in sixty. 

So what do you do?  For one thing, I’ve got to move the hutch that belonged to my grandmother and subsequently my mother from where it is positioned in our primary living area.  I previously had a round table and four chairs setting in front of it and it looked as though the hutch had a purpose. The realtor said, “The table and chairs have to go”.  Currently they are in the garage.  Now the hutch looks out-of-place to me.

So driving to the grocery store last night, I came up with a game plan that works for me. Unfortunately it is a two-person job. I can’t move the furniture that needs to be moved without help and the General isn’t going to be able to help.  Unlike stocking the pantry with paper towels, I need muscle power to jockey the furniture.

Fortunately, since there is a round table and four chairs on the sun porch, I could move Grandma’s hutch to the sun porch in the location where the roll top desk is currently setting.  The General has no sentimental attachment to the roll top desk, she wants me to get rid of it.  That’s not going to happen.  At least it isn’t going to happen now. I like it. 

The roll top desk would look great in the front room where the piano currently sets.  The piano then could be shifted to the place where the hutch currently sets. It is a great plan, don’t you think?

So as I was driving to the grocery store, I had a flash back to the years my son and his adolescent age peers helped move furniture around for me.  That is exactly the kind of help I need now.  So who do I know that has the ability to help me move three heavy pieces of furniture.  Why didn’t I think of it before? I could recruit the adolescent age son of one of Craig’s childhood friends who still lives in the neighborhood.  I called him up last night and he was willing.  Hopefully before day’s end, I’ll have everything placed where it looks and functions better. 

In addition, our pantry is now once again filled with paper towels.  They are strong and soft like cloth. Life is good!

All My Best!

Apple Computer, Inc.




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