Thursday, September 23, 2004

I was the lucky one. Some may have called me spoiled.
Either way, I was the only Klassen child to get a new bedroom suite when we moved onto the farm in ’72.

Jim got my dad and mom’s old handmade set (out of, what else, high gloss, fake dark wood grained arborite.) And Jul was the recipient of my first suite, also made by dad with love, out of white bathroom cabinets and gold countertops.

I got a dresser, desk and night table made of real wood. Maple. With colonial handles. It was lovely in my new bedroom at the back of the house. The walls were painted lime green. The shag carpeting was lime and avocado green. And the curtains… the curtains were lemon yellow. Not only were they hung over my window, but all the way around my bed, kinda like a canopy, but better.

My bedspread pulled the whole mess together brilliantly. It was bold and beautiful; lemon yellow and lime & avocado stripes. You shoulda seen it. Baby it was groovy. (Yes. I can so say that. It was ’72.)

When we got married in ‘83, Mark and I moved that set into our bedroom at the apartment. He needed his own night table, so he bought a pine blanket box that seemed to compliment what we already had.

Ten months later, we moved into the barn suite that my dad and brother built on the farm. We asked 4 friends to help us move on sunny summer Saturday. Everyone had small scale pick-up trucks, but thankfully everything we had fit into their truck beds.
“Should I empty my stuff out of the dresser?” I asked.
“Nah. It’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure? I can just throw all my clothes into a box..”
“Waste of time. Just leave them in the drawers. They’ll be fine.”
“Maybe I’ll just empty that top drawer, you know, the one with…”
“Forget it. Quit worrying. No ones going to look at your underwear.”

So the convoy of trucks ( a Mazda, a Datsun, a Toyota, and a Chevy S-10) snaked it’s way down the Fraser Hwy and onto 176th Street, which was still just a street, not a highway. I was in my Camero, at the back of the line, horrified beyond belief, when I saw one drawer get whipped by the wind and fly out of the back of the truck and onto the road. All the trucks pulled over and the drivers (my bro, bro-in-law, and a friend) ran along the shoulder scooping up, yup, my underwear.
“I’ll get this, you just go.” I pleaded, red-faced and sickened by the humiliation.
“I will NEVER move my belongings with pick up trucks again.” I vowed to myself.
Somehow, someone with active brain cells, thought to grab the broken drawer and it’s various pieces from the road side.
“I can probably fix that.” Dad assured me afterwards. “Leave it with me.”
He took the drawer and the splintered pieces down to the shop.

Four years later, we moved into our first home in Walnut Grove. (Can anyone say “country blue and dusty rose”?) True to my word, we hired movers with a bonafide moving van. But just to be safe, I packed my underwear in a suitcase and put in my car’s trunk. Not playing the “pick up your underwear on the freeway” game, I can tell you that.

Dad was on hand as we were packing up to move and noticed my dresser with the missing drawer. “Hey. You want that fixed? I’ve got the pieces still in the shop..”
“Yeah, that’d be nice. It’s going into Clint’s room. It would look good with a full set of drawers.”

Eight years later, we moved back into the barn temporarily as we built our mega house in Cedar Ridge. Dad was there as the moving truck inched its way down the winding driveway in the year’s worst snow storm. He offered his opinions as to where things should get stored as the guys emptied out the van.
“Oh,” he noticed. “I didn’t get around to fixing that drawer. I’ve got the pieces here. I should do that.”
“Yeah, that’d be nice. Drew’s stuff will be in there. The extra drawer would be good to have.”

We moved out 9 months later. The lovely colonial maple bedroom suite was moved to a special place; the upper corner room, Max’s bedroom.
Dad wandered through the house as the movers moved furniture around.
“That looks good in here. Oh, wait, I never fixed that drawer. I’ve got the pieces in the shop. I shoulda done that while you lived there…”

Four years later all the furniture was placed into storage by another set of movers as I looked for a home to call my own. By the fall, I was ready to settle in Fraser Heights. Once again, I called a moving company to bring a van to load up my furniture. I was looking after my undergarments, they could transport the rest.

Once again, my dad moseyed around on moving day. Once again he observed the missing drawer.
“Hey. Isn’t that fixed yet? All the pieces are in the shop you know. Just a matter of doing it…”
“OK. Sounds good. If you’ve got time, that would be great. Clint and Drew are sharing a brand new set, and I feel bad that Max has the older suite with the missing drawer…”

Two years later, I sell my home, get movers to move my belongings again. I put everything in storage again. And live on the farm again.

In 2003, I find and buy my, uh, dream home. Twenty years after my original moving experience, my friends (the Datsun owners) offer to come and help me with this, my hopefully, last move.
“Thanks for the offer, but since we moved out of the apartment, I’ve hired professionals. I hate to bother friends and family members. I’ve got so much stuff…”
“Remember your underwear flying all over 176th?” she interrupted.
“Well, yeah, there’s that too. I haven’t fully recovered from the trauma …”
“Dayle and I still chuckle about that.”

Max decides he doesn’t want bedroom furniture in his room at this house. He just wants shelves in the closet so that he can throw his clothes on the floor. He wants book shelves so that his books, toys and stuff can be thrown on the floor. And he wants a desk so that all his homework, supplies and things can be thrown on the floor.

So we left the, now almost antique, maple colonial bedroom suite in the garage.
“I’ll sell it.” I said last year when we moved in. “No point keeping it around. I don’t have any extra room for it.”

My dad came by tonight to pick it up for the garage sale. It was buried under lino scraps, Christmas decoration boxes, a piece of carpet and a whack of posters.
“You should dust this with Pledge” dad suggests as we pull the three separate pieces onto the driveway. “It’ll sell better if it’s cleaned up.”
“I’ll do that at your place. Didn’t think it made sense to do it now. Your truck is so dirty…”
“Oh,” he noticed. “That drawer is still missing. I’ve got all the pieces in the shop you know. I should fix that up.”
“That’d be nice…”

You will notice the pictures that I post today are very junky. That’s because I’m selling very old junky stuff. Not like my mom. She’s selling good quality stuff. There you have it. Something for everyone. Junk. And treasures. Take yer pick.

Word of warning, if you buy my 30 year old bedroom suite, you may end up having my dad pop in and out of your life for the next few decades telling you he can fix that missing drawer. How do you put a price on that?

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