Wood you be my valentine?

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Kym Seabolt table

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I posted a cute little meme on social media that said “We’ve been married. We don’t care about Valentine’s Day years long.”

That really hit home. I’ve never been a roses and romance girl. Well, I mean I like the romance. However, my idea of romance tends to be fixing a leaky faucet. Maybe installing a new light fixture?

I’ve found roses to not be much use at all in patching drywall. I’ve always been a “get you a guy who checks your tire pressure because he loves you” kind of gal.

That is not to say that I haven’t gotten and appreciated roses over the years. I don’t want anyone to think I hate flowers. I definitely don’t hate flowers.

And we all know me well enough to know that I absolutely do adore candy. Too much.

I just like gifts that keep on giving. Like household items.

This year Mr. Wonderful was traveling for business on Valentine’s Day, so romance was a moot point. He arrived home late Feb. 14, crawled into bed very tired and mumbled a Happy Valentine’s Day before going right back to sleep.

Ah sweet romance. I wasn’t mad. I’ve always loved his ability to support us. It’s a pretty great gift.

Ideas

Mr. Wonderful will tell you that Pinterest is a source of evil. He knows that if I get a prolonged amount of time with a cup of coffee and Pinterest, I’m going to get ideas.

When I get ideas, he gets work. Thus he wasn’t surprised when, on Saturday morning, I suddenly decided that I couldn’t possibly use one of the dozens of side tables that have collected in our home and barn over the last two decades in our living room.

Absolutely none of them was suited. Too tall, too short, too just not right period.

The problem was that I didn’t need a table next to the sofa. I needed a table behind it. I needed a tiny sliver of a table to fit between the sofa and a picture window.

I wanted something no more than 7 inches wide and the exact height of the back of the sofa. It would need to be sturdy enough to hold two small but excitable dogs.

I think wiggling and barking incessantly at squirrels adds at least 10 pounds per dog.

It should surprise no one that this table does not actually exist. I reached out to my resident expert — Mr. Wonderful.

He had about a million things to do this weekend. He had hired someone to help clean out the barn — to the choir of angels and hallelujah.

I figured my chances of getting a custom table made to my specifications on a random snowy weekend were slim to none.

Still I explained what I wanted. He nodded. He sipped his coffee. He committed to nothing. All weekend I painted. I shifted furniture. I pulled everything to the center of the room.

I dutifully pushed all the furniture back. There was no where to set a drink or a remote control or a small dog. I didn’t have a table.

Sigh

Sunday afternoon Mr. Wonderful strolled in with a little something he had thrown together with scrap metal, welding skills and a piece of salvaged wood.

In the midst of all his other projects, he had whipped out exactly what I wanted, to the exact specifications I needed. It was perfect.

The wood, salvaged from a local high school gymnasium, offered the rustic patina of age and character. The legs were sturdy steel crafted to the perfect shape and height.

The table slid behind the sofa perfectly as if it had been made for the space. Because of course it had.

History

The story behind the wood is something in and of itself. Mr. Wonderful had the winning bid to remove all the wood from the local high school gymnasium before the building was demolished over a decade ago.

He spent weekends and evenings that summer demolishing that space board by board, taking all that early 1900s lumber to be used for a myriad of projects in the barn and house.

Walls and shelves and kids projects were fashioned out of this salvaged wood. My table is crafted from part of the old basketball backboard.

I like to think that all those cheers and victories and collective memories of a community through the generations soaked into the surface that now graces my living room.

Chocolates melt and roses fade but a nice sturdy table? That’s forever.

“Wood you be my valentine?” Indeed.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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