You'd think a girl who finds comfort in the kitchen and fulfillment through feeding others would own a dining table. But upon moving into Casa del Mar, I didn't, and since there's a built in bar, or peninsula as I like to say, I just picked up a couple more stools and we've been dining there. Anytime we had a guest, it was a bit of a shuffle. I had a short stool for one extra body for awhile, then picked up another, but I always knew my dining situation wasn't wheelchair friendly for my dad, or young kid friendly because of its height or multitude friendly because of the limited space. So just days ago after dining at Wasabi's (don't expect me to give up the nickname cold-turkey) parents house, I stated that I'd like to find a table for my home -- but it had to be just right. My "style" is, well, distinctive. ("Our house doesn't look like a anyone else's house," Audrey commented recently.) Every piece in the living room (and almost the entire home) is second-hand. Garage and estate sale finds, thrift store bargains and the occasional curb-side treasure have come together in quirky harmony to make this house our home. And to find the just right table and chairs at the just right price? Well, I knew it would come along eventually, but I was going to have to be reasonably patient.
The next day I decided to take a peek at what was available on Craigslist. Not expecting to find anything that intrigued me, a listing from a few days earlier caught my interest. A dark picture seemed to be telling me that I'd found exactly the set I'd envisioned. I quickly sent an email, fearing if it was really the treasure it appeared to be, it would have been quickly snatched up and was now long gone. And I didn't hear back. But rather than just assume it was sold and they were blowing me off (which is pretty standard Craigslist courtesy), I checked into the website that the dealer had listed, found two other email addresses and a phone number. And I used them all. Finally, the next morning, I was emailed the wonderful news that the set was still in their little shop. In Leavenworth. Not an outrageous distance to travel for the perfect item, but I certainly had to consider the cost of gas into the price. I responded, saying that I'd be by to see it, probably before noon.
And just before noon, I finally found the store (after choosing the long-and-winding-road set of directions from google maps). And no one was there. I panicked [quite] a bit, as I'd called three times the day before and left two messages with ne'er a response. I feared I'd driven 50 minutes to do nothing more than drive 50 more minutes. Two rings and I thought I might've hit the lottery. A voice answered. She'd be down at the shop in five minutes. When she arrived, I saw the table and chairs and was right. I'd hit the lottery. This baby was exactly what I had in mind.
Hot Red Speed and I came home with our new found treasure. But it couldn't come inside until I did some serious rearranging. I got to work, glad to have a project on a school-less day. I tried a couple of setups before I settled on one and looked at my fresh home. Then I inspected my find, not surprised to see it needed a pretty good cleaning. I started with standard wood-dusting spray. It was fine, but I was using a lot of elbow grease. I checked back under the sink to see what other household cleaners I had, and spotted a box of those magic erasers that you just add some water and scrub. Worth a try, I got to work. And it was amazing. Years of food and wax and grime came off without too much labor.
I was tickled at the result. Then I remembered I had a piece of era-appropriate upholstery fabric in the basement. So I recovered the original black vinyl seats. All before bedtime.
I did a little more touch-up this morning, then another furniture shift. I'll soon have guests seated around it (it has secret pull-out leaves and nearly doubles in size). And those magic cleaner thingamajigs...they're so good, I think they can erase your sins...if you believe in that sorta thing.