Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Cleaning house is a lesson in family history-Part II


Tuesday when I updated this blog, my desk was in the entryway to my home office. My daughter and I were prepared to move it to the garage and ultimately to the curb for recycling. But she was at work and I never leave well enough alone. I decided to try to move the desk myself.

I wanted to make quicker progress on my room renovation. Earlier in the day, I checked out desks online at Fry’s Electronics. While I did not find the desk of my dreams, I wanted to get to the store as soon as possible to view the desks “live and in person.”

So I edged and pulled and pushed and yanked and shuffled and backed up and tugged the desk. About one third of it was now in the hallway. As I analyzed my next move, I realized the desk needed to be propped up vertically on the short side to make it into the hallway. And, even with that Herculean effort, the top half of the desk still would be in the way of rotating it fully. Then Ashley and I would still need to navigate the turn to get it into the garage.

I decided the only way the desk was moving anywhere was to remove the top shelves. I grabbed a screwdriver and used it as a crowbar between the joints. Nothing budged. I searched for a hammer in the toolbox, the laundry room and the kitchen to no avail. (This is where I typically blame my children. But how often do my daughters use hammers? And one daughter no longer lives here. OK, let’s just not go there).

So I stood in my 120 plus degree garage and looked for any tool which could help me . My father, who had worked at the Kohler Company, had given me many tools most of which are somewhere in my house. I found one hanging on the wall and my faded memory tells me it was used on cast iron bathtubs. (Kohler is a small village in Wisconsin, located west of Sheboygan. I grew up in its shadow with three of my uncles, an aunt and many other family members earning their livelihood from the Kohler family).

Could I swing this hammer on steroids and remove the shelving? It was worth a shot.
I methodically hammered the edges I wanted to remove and within five minutes the shelves were separated. I dragged the shelf to the garage, pleased with my accomplishment. Now onto moving the desk.

When I returned and looked at what remained, it suddenly didn’t look too bad. Wasn’t this better than what I had seen on the Fry’s electronics web site? Why didn’t I think of this before?

There stood my desk, barely ravaged from the hammer, and ready for a new life. I have no idea why I didn’t just slam the tool into the desk and smash it to pieces. Now instead of buying a desk, I can spend my money on bookshelves, frames, paint or whatever else strikes my fancy. An antique Kohler hammer transformed my desk and with a few more little touches, I will have exactly what I need for my new office. I may just believe in reincarnation.

1 comment:

Lori L. Wangemann January said...

Well, if anyone is enjoying your blog, it is me. I was feeling blah yesterday and decided to read your blog for once and for all. I really enjoyed every minute of the stories you shared and could relate to many of them. Especially on the history of your family. Did we know in high school that the both of us would become journalism majors in college? I can't recall, but I see we did. I have done some writing, but only on historical matters here in the Maryland area. Went off and became a legal secretary instead. However, found the work in law to be very interesting especially working with the big law firms in D.C. Anyways, back to my comment, really enjoyed your writing.