Thursday, July 24, 2008

Random question of the day

Random question of the day: should a 45-year-old woman be moving a sofa?

O.K., it’s not really so random. My dad told me last night that I was too old to be moving furniture, but I disagree. I think that as long as I’m able, I should by all means be moving furniture. Once you give in, you die, right?

Of course, I’m no longer able. And I’m barely able to type or to get myself dressed or to wash my hair.

You see, above mentioned sofa just about did me in yesterday. Let me tell you about it . . .

We’re not necessarily do-gooders, but we do like to be helpful. Which is why B and I agreed, a couple of years ago, to serve on a non-profit board. Now, this is no give-your-advice-and-leave kind of board. It’s a get-your-hands-dirty-and-oh-by-the-way-you-just-might-break-a-bone-or-two-along-the-way kind of board.

This board owns 18 townhomes, and we rent these townhomes (at a very reasonable rate) to missionaries who come here for their furlough. (I guess these days it’s called a home stay or something like that, but we’re old fashioned and we still call it a furlough.) Every couple on the board is responsible for one of the townhomes—its upkeep, any repairs needed (we just call the right person), and the decorating. This is the do-good work we do.

We started with this group two years ago. The first year I didn’t do much with our house because we were just getting started, and we felt bad spending the foundation’s money. Last year I think I had two days between families, so I couldn’t get much done.

This year I had two weeks between families, so I decided to do a major overhaul of the decorating. I kid you not . . . there were still pictures hanging on the walls that were probably placed there in the 1975. And the wallpaper. Don’t get me started on the wallpaper. (To my shame, some light blue country bumpkin wallpaper is still hanging in the powder room. That’s a project for next summer.) Some things were truly hideous.

The decorating project kind of snowballed one day when I went furniture outlet shopping with two other women from the board. We found some great deals and some beautiful furniture, my credit card jumped out of my wallet, and things went from there.

I have been decorating and shopping like mad for the past 10 days. I now have a new friend at the furniture outlet, Charles, who is on the hunt for some chocolate brown side chairs. It is insanity.

Back to the sofa. You were wondering where all of this was going, I know. See, to get all of this new furniture into the house, we had to move out the old stuff. Our church runs a resale shop, so we decided to take a lot of the old furniture there. That way everyone wins. We get rid of the old furniture, the people who buy it get a good deal, and the local community center gets the profit. Good deal, huh?

Yesterday was the day that I just had to get the old stuff out of the house. Some of the new stuff had already been delivered and there just wasn’t room to walk around in there. I commandeered my oldest daughter, Kate, to come and help me because she’s very strong. And she’s willing. A real trooper, that Kate.

So we moved the sofa out the front door and headed toward my minivan. We didn’t know if it would fit, but I had taken all the seats out, and it looked like we might be in business.

Just as we were getting near the car I fell. Apparently someone had put a step in the middle of the sidewalk and forgotten to tell me it was there. I was walking backward with the sofa, totally did not see the step, and fell. HARD. My left hand went out to catch my fall, my left hip hit the ground, and the sofa landed on top of my feet. Oh boy, what a mess.

Not to be deterred from my mission of clearing that 1970s mess from its hideous furniture, I continued on. I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and started all over again. The sofa fit just fine in my car. We drove it and two more loads of stuff to the resale store.

Later in the afternoon I was in pain. I noticed that I couldn’t move my left arm very well and my elbow was starting to swell. I had been warned a couple of times in my life by various doctors that I have a very high pain threshold and that I should be careful. And since I was feeling actual pain, I figured I’d better get an x-ray.

Well, there’s nothing conclusive about the x-ray, and I don’t have the final word yet. My elbow is either badly sprained or broken—I'll find out tomorrow.

So now I ask you again, is 45 too old to be moving furniture? I’m just not ready to give in.

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