Friday, November 9, 2012

My Footstool of Memories—Day 9 of a Town Girl Touched by the Farming Life

This is how empowered I felt when my project was complete.

            A little boredom may touch a family by breeding discontent, yet a lot of boredom breeds adventure!  After many years of going places that children may originally view as a waste of time but then discovering those places could be wonderful to explore, I began asking to go with my parents even when I did not have to go.

            One such time began when Dad needed to line up tools and supplies for a work crew to start  a new construction job beginning on Monday.  We hopped in the four-wheel-drive truck (well, I climbed in) and headed for the equipment building, which sat about 45 minutes from our house one way.  When we got there, I looked around inside the building for a little while, but at that time Dad was still mostly in the paperwork stage.  He said I could explore outside.  Apparently the former renters threw large, unwanted items in the gully out back.  There was no nasty garbage, just stuff.  Regardless of their reason for making the discards, to me it was a treasure hunt.

            Delighted, I retrieved a small wooden box with "legs."  I thought it was a footstool with a missing "lid."  Hurriedly I raced back to Dad and explained my great plans.  He must have been able to appreciate great design when he heard it because he replied, "I don't care.  You can take it home if you want."  That triggered a team effort to get to the final product completed.

            At home, Dad cut me a strong board to become the top or seat, and he let me borrow his file or rasp to try to make the legs match better.  Mom found a durable brown paint and a paint brush for me to use to give it a good coating on all sides.  Grandma Susie had the perfect spare upholstery fabric for me to use on the sides and to cover the lid:  brightly colored with flowers and fruit.  Mom gave me some of the foam padding she used in her self-taught upholstery projects, so my lid could double as a handy dandy seat.  Graciously, Mom also showed me how to overlap the seam to avoid showing any raw edges or upholstery tacks. Finally, it was finished; I was thrilled.

            The farm-based attitude of doing it yourself and the lesson that even boring places can be exciting both led to this grand team effort.  I still have that footstool.  I took it to secretarial school and used it under the desk in my residence hall.  It traveled with me to my apartments in Bloomington where I worked for a few years, and after I was married with kids, it held some of my girls' take-home Sunday school papers, which they could pull out and color when they wanted them.  For the last several years, the growing crowded environment in my home relegated the footstool to a closet.  However, looking at my prized (in my eyes) footstool brings back memories of my grandparents, parents, and children.  I think it is time for it to reappear, so my other children can appreciate it and be touched by the history behind it as well. 

*When I am able, I will add a photo of it here.

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