A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Desk, Happy Birthday to You

43 years ago today I bought my desk. Nothing fancy, but it was my first piece of furniture and purchasing it introduced me to the first love of my life.

I was 18 years old and had received some money from my birthday the week before. Since I would be heading to college in a couple of months, I wanted a desk. Actually, what I REALLY wanted was a big roll-top desk. But I found out you couldn't buy one for $35. So my mom took me to Sears Warehouse in Tucson where they were having a big sale. I looked and looked at all the desks, then I looked at the ones I could afford. Finally I found it, this little 4-drawer number. Man, I loved that desk. Put it in my room which had a view of the Catalina Mountains in Tucson. On rainy days, I would sit at my desk doing homework or reading and looking at the mountains.

About that first love of my life, he worked at the warehouse and he and his friend, Mike, were helping us load it into my mom's car. Took quite awhile and the two of them were so funny that Mom and I were entranced. When we finally left, I remember him standing on the loading dock and he waved to us as we drove away. I thought he was so wonderful, but didn't know his name or anything. Three months later I was a freshman in college and starting hanging around the Newman Center. One Saturday the group had a picnic in the desert and I went. There, under a tree, was this guy who looked vaguely familiar. I found the courage to talk to him and discovered that he was the guy from Sears! His name was Jim. I immediately fell in love and we had a brief romance that winter. It was rekindled for a spell when my family moved to California as he had moved there the year before. But that was it.

When I moved out of my parent's home, I left the desk behind for awhile. My sister used it and somewhere along the way it got painted bright blue.

When my husband and I moved to Denver, I took the desk with me. He stripped it and then antiqued it (very big in those days). Dragged it back to Tucson with us when my kids were 4 and I think my brother had it in his room for awhile when I ran out of space. At another juncture in the desk's life it was covered with walnut wood grain contact paper! That was lovely.

But it always came back home to me. When I moved to California 20 years ago, the desk came and it hasn't left my side since. It has been stripped down, refinished, and gotten new handles. Now it sits in our guest room and I love it as much as I did the day I bought it. Someday when I'm gone, I'm sure Jenni will take the desk. She's the only one who appreciates what it means to me.

That first love - his birthday was June 14th (Flag Day). My husband, Ed, has the same birthday. So the first love of my life and the last love of my life share something in common. Looks like I've come full circle - with my little 4-drawer buddy by my side.


Wendy said...

I have an old antique record cabinet that seems like it has always been with me. No special memories or anything with it though. Just the only thing that I've had for a significant amount of time. When you work in interior design you tend to not keep things very long. It is in Jayke's room now and I still really like it. Maybe he will want it someday.

kathy said...

What a cute story!
I sat at a desk to do my homework while looking at the Catalinas too! ah... Tucson.

Desert Diva said...

You should be a writer. Every time I read one of your posts, it's like reading a chapter in a novel. In fact, I just finished reading "Must Love Dogs," and you have much the same "style" as that writer.

What a wonderful story about the desk!

Sandi said...

Wendy - Didn't know you worked in interior design. I need to be careful what photos I post of my house!

Kathy - yes, I miss the Catalinas. Need to do a post about them....

Diva - thanks for the compliment. I'm really glad my daughter FORCED me to start this blog. I love to tell these stories and it's fun to have people read them.

Jenni said...

What a funny coincidence about Jim and Ed's birthdays.

When you do finally go, 100 years from now, I'll take the desk.

Halfmexican Mama said...

thats so cool...I have a favorite piece of furniture myself..my glider rocker, cause I used it for both of my children. I will never give it up and hope to rock my grandbabies in it someday!

ira said...

I am getting furniture made for my room. Since dad was in Air Force, we have been traveling most of our lives. Now, we are settling in our own house, wonder which peice of furniture would be my love!

It looks very well kept.

A Special Family said...

What an amazing story....total full circle!
What happened to the Tuscany picture?! I loved it :)

Sandi said...

Special Family - I love that Tuscany picture, too. But wanted a bit of a change. At least with the basil I kept the Italian theme!

ira said...

Sandi never replies to my comments. I am not talking to sandi.