March 29, 2011

One Man's Trash

Is another man's (or woman's in this story) treasure.

My husband loves - I mean LOVES - garage sales, Craigslist, dumpster finds, and the like. I am usually the typical wife standing by the car, ready to leave, constantly reminding him, "Just because it only costs $1 doesn't mean we NEED it." Now Seth is a super handy guy, and he usually convinces me to give in with the response, "But I can make something 'new' out of it." It gets me (almost) every time; save something and re-purpose it? Alright, throw it in the car. Then where does that wonderful find go when we get home? Into the pile in the garage with all our other to-be-saved items. It is at this point that I usually remember my initial hesitation from earlier. Oh, right, we really didn't need that dollar find; we have lots of unfinished projects waiting here at home for us. So, around and around we go.

Well, this story takes place while Seth was deployed (hint: he doesn't make the find this time) to Iraq in 2009. We were stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawai'i. Our trusty pooch Toby and I were on a walk with our neighbor and his dog one evening, and there on the side of the road just beckoning to come home with me was a dis-guarded teak patio table that could seat six. Brand new that would easily cost $1400. I wanted to snatch it up and take it home with me on the spot, and in classic Hawai'ian style, my neighbor was all for turning this trash into treasure. Then I remembered all the times I gave Seth a hard time for bringing home old shelves and left over pieces of trim he'd found. I always told him 'No', and now that there was something I wanted on the side of the road, I almost didn't even hesitate to lug it back to our little under 800sq. ft. home. (that's right, y'all, it was small!)

Needless to say - I made a deal with myself - if the table was still there at the end of the walk (Hawai'ians love free finds.), I was going to take it as a sign that it was bound for our patio. Not really knowing which way I wanted this deal to go when we rounded that last corner, I found myself ecstatic to see the table still sitting there just waiting for me! Insert Happy Dance Here. My neighbor helped me haul my new favorite piece of furniture back to the house while I worked out in my head how to tell Seth the next time I got one of those treasured phone calls from down range.

This story ends happily. :) Seth was actually a little proud of me for giving in to the urge, and we made a quick trip to Lowes for a quart of Valspar satin exterior paint in a shade very close to La Fonda Fiesta Blue. After a fresh coat of paint and the safe return of my soldier, we enjoyed many an evening with friends sitting round that table sipping wine and enjoying the island breezes. Yes, the chairs are all mismatched, but I think that adds to the charm. A few from our kitchen table, one from the patio, and even one from another curbside find.

Our trash to treasure patio table played the center of attention on more than one occasion while livin' the island life. Now that we are in Missouri where the winters are cold, I have once again re-purposed the table as my craft table down in the basement. Have you ever had a great "garage sale" find? Or re-purposed a piece of furniture instead of buying something new? Do share! :)

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