So, time arrived for replacing the living room furniture. Grandpa and I had our same sofa, loveseat, extra chair, tables, and lamps from our thirty-five years of marriage. Still leaning toward denial, we agreed blue remains our favorite color, not one person has fallen all the way to the floor in our chair yet, and parts of the lampshades still block the view of the bare GE 100 watt lightbulbs. Besides, right before the delivery men appeared at my fingerprint-smudged storm door with newly purchased pieces, I had a moment to examine our old stuff and found unexpected reminders of times gone by such as marbles, crayons, Barbie arms, Chapstick tops, and chewing gum wrappers.
After I turned one of the seat cushions on the loveseat over, I discovered a dim outline of our daughter’s first post-potty training accident. Of course, under that same cushion, as well as the others, I collected treasures I thought were forever gone. The first to catch my eye was the yellow edge peeping out from the upholstery of grandbaby’s last pacifier. How well I remembered searching house, yard, and car for that life-giving piece of equipment.
In fact, I can still imagine Grandpa heaves and sighs when he pulled at the carpet edges searching for the prize. After that, he removed the slats off every bed in the house and disassembled the complete frames. About to attack our living room furniture, he paused when our daughter emphatically assured him the baby had gone nowhere near that room. Instead, he turned his attention to the kitchen and hauled out the stove, refrigerator, and cabinets from the wall. There he found nothing more substantial than the only known copy of Great-Great Granny’s famous teacakes recipe that had landed on Plymouth Rock with the Pilgrims, which was buried among artsy dust bunnies that had self-formed, waiting to petrify into immortality. However, just before Grandpa started to peel the wallpaper in the bathroom, Grandbaby went to sleep for the first time without her snookie overhanging the corner of her lips. Her mother insisted the pacifier as no longer needed and threatened to have Grandpa committed if he continued his manic search.
Ahh, such memories. And then there are the tables. Oh, the tables. One big long scratched outline creeping toward a heart shape rested right in the middle of the coffee table. That blemish Grandbaby created proved to me, “Grandpa luvs Grandma now and forever.” Yet, since I interrupted the meant-to-be eternal sculpture, we were forced to live with the half-heart over the years. Another of Grandbaby’s canvases originated on the end table surface where she used the edge of her Fourth of July flag pole to etch a sunflower so that we would always have fresh flowers in our living room.
Before I could continue my walk down memory lane via the Sears Roebuck special deal of thirty-five years ago, the movers began replacing my lifetime of picture backgrounds, Good Housekeeping display tables, permanent grape juice rings, and foot propping coffee table with clean untarnished wooden pieces of beautifully upholstered fabric. Nostalgically, my only hope springs from an image of a great grandbaby of the future sneaking her yellow snookie through the cracks before Grandpa forgets how to handle his trusty Craftsman tools.