Monday, November 30, 2009


When I was growing up, my siblings and I spent a lot of time with our paternal grandmother.

When my mother went to out-of-town radiation safety conferences, my dad and two siblings and I would show up at her door with a bucket of KFC. (Since we got fast/restaurant food so infrequently as children, I remember these incidents vividly...)

We did Christmas en famille at her house until there was too much famille to fit around her table.

I think my granny even did a stretch of after-school childcare...all of which you can take to mean that I was familiar with every nook and cranny of her house, including the possessions that my dad and his siblings left there after they moved out.

This couch, roughly eight feet in length, was a mainstay in her living room. It was where we sat when she read me stories or when we leafed through photo albums. From the couch's vantage point, you could see the chair where granny sat when she was alone, with a bird book splayed open on a bookshelf nearby and a small pair of binoculars.

As my granny got older, she was less and less able to get upstairs to her bed. So she slept on the couch, which accommodated her five foot two inches (or thereabouts) nicely.

(More after the turn...)

After my grandmother died, my aunt Katie inherited the couch. And that was that. But last year, my aunt got some new furniture and wanted to shift the couch she called me and asked if I (or any of my siblings) wanted it.

I did. My siblings didn't, so I wrangled a van and talked M into moving it with me, not telling him in advance what a beast it was. It had a wonky leg, which was the only reason all of it fit in the van at all.

Since we had recently re-upholstered our existing couches, we didn't really have room for it either but I wasn't going to be foolish enough to let my granny's couch out of my grasp. So it lay on the floor at one end of the living room, on its side, for a month or so.

And then I had a brainstorm. Since Aqua's large second floor (which includes the two events rooms and the writers' studios) had been largely furnished with antiques but still had room to spare, the couch would be a nice, albeit temporary addition.

Bookstore owner Kelly agreed to my nefarious plan.

So I wrangled the van again and we (okay, mostly Kelly) somehow got the couch up the stairs. He even got the wonky leg fixed. At events, I urged people to sit on the couch. I'd take mini-breaks to go sit on it for a minute or two.

Basically, it made me feel better - just better - even catching a glimpse of it.

And then, a month ago, we bought a new house, which had a third floor loft (i.e. my office). And I started having powerful daydreams about sitting in a lozenge of mid-afternoon light, on my grandmother's couch, in my office, reading.

So when moving day came, I coerced the movers to Aqua. I further coerced them into considering carrying the beast-couch up two flights of stairs to the third floor.

When they said they didn't think it would make the turns, I quickly re-thought my nefarious plan (part the second), and decided to put the couch in the little room off my bedroom. Where my clothes were supposed to go.

And so, with much straining, the movers hoisted it over the balcony. M and I pushed at ground level so it would clear the balcony lip, then ran upstairs to help lift it over the rail.

And now I can see it from my bed, when I go to sleep and when I wake up.

I don't feel that rush of pleasure when I see it now, but I can't wait until we're settled and I have the leisure to sit in a lozenge of mid-afternoon light, in my bedroom, and read. On my granny's couch.


Jenny said...

That couch is amaaaaazing. I love teal so hard. Is it at all comfortable?

Ariel Gordon said...

Sort of. It will be better once it's been cushioned. But as Kelly noted, "it's so beautiful it doesn't really owe you a sit..."

m said...

That couch is amazing, a dream couch. I would seriously fight you for it if I knew I had an iota of a chance.