Sunday, October 31, 2010
Back in 1983 when Rob and I got married, we paid $50.00 for a long, green, crushed-velvet couch my boss was selling at his garage sale. It was our living room sofa for the first several years as we finished college and started our family. When we moved to Bountiful, it became our family room sofa when we purchased a new living room set of furniture. Our kids grew up playing on, watching TV from, making forts with, and jumping off of that big, green couch and I didn’t realize how much they had bonded with it.
One of Kevin's many cushion forts
Kevin reading to new baby brother on the end of the green couch
Dani assuming the favorite TV viewing position on the green couch
When we purchased a hide-a-bed sofa for the family room, we decided to get rid of the green couch, but because of the attachment we had formed with it during 15 years of ownership; we took it on a farewell tour around our neighborhood on New Years Day 1998.
After we took it to the kids’ schools, the church and many of our favorite neighbors’ yards and took photos, we donated the couch to Deseret Industries. I didn’t expect the outcry we received from our children. They were always making comments about how much they missed playing with the cushions and how they could stretch out on the green couch and how cramped the new sofa was, etc.
Our couch in the church parking lot
Kevin at his Jr. High School
Dani and Bryan at Bountiful Elementary
Some of our neighbors who joined in the fun of the couch tour
Just over a year later, we moved to Pleasant View and the kids would occasionally wax nostalgic for the green couch so when I started visiting teaching a sister in our new ward with a gigantic, orange, crushed velvet couch, I told her about the affection my family had for a similar piece of furniture. A couple of months later, she phoned me and said she wanted to get rid of the couch and wondered if I’d like to have it. I didn’t even hesitate, I said, “yes”! We found out when we went to pick it up that this couch was about two feet longer and at least 100 pounds heavier than the green couch (hard to believe there could be something bigger and heavier!).
We brought it home on Pleasant View’s Founder’s Day and watched the fireworks while sitting on it that night out in our backyard. The next day, it made its way into our unfinished basement.
Fireworks from the big, comfy orange couch
Over the ensuing years, the basement was finished around the big, orange couch. It was pushed from one place to another while walls were built, sheet rocked, mudded, primed, painted, moldings and doors installed, carpet layed, etc. It finally came to rest in front of Bryan’s TV/Video gaming center and has rested there for many years…until yesterday.
October 30, 2010 ended the era of big, long, heavy, old, crushed velvet couches at our house. The orange couch made its way out of the house with a brief stop out front for a quick photo shoot before it was tied into the back of the van and delivered to the Ogden Salvation Army.
So it is with a little melancholy, we wish adieu to our couches and move into the new era without crushed velvet furniture. To whomever ends up with our old velvet couches, we wish you many years of joyful couch-cushion fort-making and stretching-out without touching the ends of a couch and joy in not worrying about what a child can do to your furniture.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Every year when the leaves change colors and fall off the trees, I think about being a kid and how much I enjoyed Halloween. It is far from being my favorite holiday now but growing up in
I always wanted to be a princess or a fairy or someone beautiful…wishful thinking for the homeliest child in the school. My fifth grade year, my mom used some kind of heavy, old fabric and made me a long, flowing dress. The material was off-white and not very pretty, but she dyed it royal blue which made me very happy. She also made me a crown. I thought it was wonderful; in fact, I wore that same costume again the next year but with wings and a wand.
After our parade, we wound around the block and back to the school from another direction. Then we had a massive party in the gymnasium. The PTA set up ‘fishing’ booths, ring toss, beanbag throw, and darts-at-balloons type games. It was a carnival-type atmosphere and I looked forward to it every year.
THEN, there was the trick-or-treating in the evening. I would meet up with one or more of my school friends and we would go to the non-scary houses in town. We learned there were some houses you just didn’t go to. After a few years, we figured out which homes had the best treats and started planning our route in advance to hit the good ones and skip the places where old bachelors and ornery ladies lived.
The second year I wore my blue-dyed long dress, it snowed and I recall how cold it was as the snow encrusted the bottom six or seven inches of the dress and froze into a ring around my legs. My Mom had tried to convince me to wear my coat, but I figured my wings wouldn’t look right over my coat, so I went without it and regretted it by the time we were a few blocks from home. That was the year I was literally frozen blue. All that snow on my dress caused the dye to run and it colored my skin blue for a few days.
My Mom didn’t believe in kids dressing up or trick-or-treating once they were out of elementary school. Lucky for me, I had a baby brother born the summer after I turned 10 so when he was two or three years old, my Mom let me take him around town to trick or treat. Mom thought I was being such a great sister taking Mark in his adorable little costumes to get candy, but I was totally cashing in because he was so cute, everywhere we went I would get a piece of candy too.
Fun times! I bet Hinckley is still a great trick-or-treating town. I'm pretty sure the old Hinckley Elementary School is haunted; it sure looks it! I wonder if I could borrow someone's sweet little kid on Halloween this year to go visit my old hometown?
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Even though I do love fall, as I have previously blogged about, there is certainly an element of sadness about the season. I find it very depressing pulling out my garden and dismantling the flower beds which I spent all spring and summer planting, watering, deadheading, fertilizing, weeding and enjoying.
Last week I started the inevitable winterizing projects in the yard. I’ve found that it doesn’t do any good to put off doing these important jobs like cutting back perennials and digging out annuals including the vegetable plants in the garden. I learned the hard way, leaving them under a layer of snow all winter just makes for a bigger, messier job next spring.
One of the last things I remove or cut back in the fall are the ornamental grasses in my yard. I’ve become very fond of these decorative grasses and I actually have several varieties this year. One of the best things about them is how little maintenance they require and most of them will grow back next spring without coaxing. The only one I have to replant each spring it the Purple Fountain Grass, which is one of my favorites, and if we lived somewhere other than a cold zone, it would be considered perennial too.
Here are some of the grasses growing in our yard this autumn.
The Pampas and this Moor Grass will get prettier as the weather cools because their heads become larger and fluffier later in the season. After the first snow, I'll have to bundle up and cut these beautiful feathery plumes and stalks down and allow the stubby remains to sleep all winter under a blanket of white, regenerating enough strength to do it all again next year, hopefully on an even bigger and grander scale.