Thursday, April 19, 2018

Curbside Antiquing: A French Chair

 A very basic day began....
It was another cold day in Boston. 
And it was local trash pick up day so bags and boxes dotted the sidewalks.

Baby Reeve was in the backseat, and we were headed home from a trip to Lowes. 
We had picked up a toilet repair kit to fix a pesky commode. 
 While we were out, we hit Marshall's where we scored some puddle jumpers for Reeve. 
 Exactly what I was looking for, as I imagined her in these boots as my garden assistant
this spring and summer, if the weather ever obliges.
A perfect day in our boring but happy little world,
 when all of a sudden there it was.
I spotted something in a pile of trash on the drive home.
A glimpse of a rounded back French Chair with a painted frame.  
I was driving on the opposite side of the street so I couldn't just pull over easily.  
Instead I looked at it my rear view mirror, getting smaller and smaller.
I debated turning around and checking it out. 
 I told myself to keep going, we were almost home, and the chair 
was probably pretty ratty and falling apart.  
My sensible-self talked my Frenchy-antique-loving-self 
right out of investigating any further.

And I forgot about it....
until the next morning when I had to leave the house early,
 around 6 am to drive Mr. Maison Decor to a job site 
where he had left his truck the day before.
And then it hit me!! 
The trash trucks hadn't come!! 
And my Frenchy antique-loving-self got so excited!!

Because it was a holiday Monday, Patriots Day, 
all trash pickups were delayed one day.  
That meant just possibly, that the pretty French chair,
however ratty it may be, may likely still be sitting at the curb.
The stars were aligning!!
My sensible-self was no longer in the driver's seat.
I hoped it would be in great shape, a real antique, and one I could rehab.
A quintessential Louis XVI side chair, not unlike the chairs in Sharon Osbourne's home, above.
As we drove I  told hubs about the chair in the trash, 
and that I planned to circle back to see it it was there.
My plan was to do something with it, even if it was so ratty I couldn't use it indoors, I
would rip out the upholstery and stick a big pot of flowers
 in it and use it as a plant stand by the garden shed. 
Not sure if he was even listening to my plan....
 My gas tank was near empty, so I spent crucial minutes stopping for a fillup.
I was almost there....
as I turned onto the street, my heart sank when I saw
two trash trucks 
ahead of a line of cars on the very street where the chair was put out for pick up.
They finally pulled over to load trash and recyclables,
 so I sped by and raced to my destination.  
Past the the elementary school I drove where Piper
 and I have walked a million times...
I was almost there!
just around the the chair was still there?!!

Wouldn't someone have pulled it out already? 
 Shut up.  NO!! Think positive! Ok. 
Sitting up very proud and tall amongst the trash bags.  
 She was solid as a rock, and heavy too,
which meant she was an older chair.  
Her pale blue upholstery indicated she had lived a nice life
once upon a time, as did the gilding on her frame.  
 She is safe and sound now.
She plans to live Happily Ever After now, maybe even 
getting a turn in the pages of a French magazine. 
Curbside antiquing never felt so good.

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  1. I'm still laughing at this one. It was meant to be if it lasted overnight and all through the next morning without someone else picking it up! Lucky girl.

  2. Score!! That happened with me and an antique sewing cabinet. Passed by it for 2 days on a country road. The day I decided to pick it up the trash trucks had just arrived. I laid on the horn and told them to load in my car instead. Painted it white and I love it. I don't know why I hesitated!!

  3. How wonderful! I know how exciting it was for you to rescue that chair. About 30 years ago I had the same experience with a large oriental carpet, but I was taking a friend to the dentist in the rain. When I circled back from the dentist's office, the carpet and trash were GONE! I still think about that carpet. It is a shame that so many people do not recycle, but trash such things instead. I know you have given the chair a good home. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

  4. Wow! You were one very lucky lady, it's beautiful, you saved her life! Of course she is a she too!!!xx


  5. fantastic, just what I would do.

  6. Keep on working, great job!

  7. I just LOVE this story & have read it twice! It is my favorite in a while...I have found 2 large in pieces French chairs myself in the curbside trash here on the northshore of New Orleans & they were treasures. So exciting & I keep my granddaughter also after 30 years as an investment advisor. So happy you are making memories!! Have read you for years & enjoy all of your posts!! Sherrill at Hillwood Plantation

  8. I love happy endings! Great find!

  9. She's so beautiful, and I can't wait to see the transformation. My favorite kind of furniture-rescue story!

  10. Hey Amy...I loved this post!!! Good for you for persevering. She is a beauty. Aren't you glad people trow things out!!!
    The Empty Nest

  11. First of all I am surprised that your curious and preservation self did not brake, u-turn and get the chair the moment youn saw it....but the preservation you, haunted your being and led you back to that amazing chair....oh the new life it will have with you! So happy that it was still on that pile!!!....It brings back memories of driving in the car with my aunt on trash day in a very "special" neighborhood....she rescued the most amazing things....she is the one who taught me to appreciate wonderful "old" and "orphaned" things....Have a great day Amy!!!

  12. hahah....I enjoyed this rescue tale soooo much! Reminded me of many a times I did the same thing. Not picking it up ....then having it on my mind and heart pumping, going back to find the treasured piece! (sometimes no longer there! )
    One time you mentioned a book to read... Empty Mansions, which was great by the way, so now I am suggesting to you to read a book. Its called 'Blink' by Malcolm Gladwell. Excellent book and explains that are true right answers are always the ones we do in a 'blink'. :)
    I no longer ride past a treasure, as my blink tells me to stop and rescue instead of hoping its there when I go back. Looking forward to seeing her transformation at your hands. TFS! truly enjoyable way to start today! :) teehee

  13. WOW what a great find
    It will be happy in your home


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