Almost casualty to annual junk days, chair finds new life, memories in backyard

For what it’s worth


Last week was the citywide junk pickup, and by unofficial observation the amount of junk that is put on the curb is dwindling from year to year.

Junk pickup is definitely on my top 10 list of favorite city perks. I don’t really have a top 10 list but if I did, junk pickup would be ahead of leaf pick up, but behind snow removal.

At our household, junk pickup does cause some contention between Mary and me. For the most part we are in agreement as to what makes it curbside, but without fail an item or two are up for debate as to whether or not they are junk.

The item up for contention this year was an Adirondack chair our daughter, Emily, made in woodworking class back in the eighth grade nearly 15 years ago. Emily did a great job building the chair and it’s had a good life on the deck in Redwood Falls and a few good years here in Luverne.

Like all deck furniture, time and the sun have a way of getting the best of it, and this chair has seen its better days.

Over the years I have repainted it and replaced a board here and there, but it was time for the curb.

This wasn’t the first year I tried to get the chair curbside for the junk pickup, but this year was going to be different.

Emily has long since moved on, and Mary was out of town while I was moving junk to the curb.

It’s not like I don’t have a heart, and I did feel a little bad setting the chair at the curb alongside the pile of meaningless junk. As I walked away from the curb, I glanced back over my shoulder, and I could have sworn the chair looked sad.

I had hoped that maybe someone would spot the chair and salvage it before the city guys picked it up the next morning.

I made the mistake of taking a picture of the chair curbside and texting it to Emily. Her response was swift and to the point. She simply texted back that I was no longer her father.

Shortly after I received Emily’s text, Mary pulled into the driveway and I thought, “OMG I’m in trouble now.” Just as she was taking me to the cleaners (if you know what I mean), a truck pulled up to the curb and was giving the chair the once-over. Mary said if they take that chair she was going to cry. Only God knows what would have happened to me.

It was time for a little tough love, and I told Mary that it was time for the chair to go and I went to the shed in the backyard to find more junk to toss out.

Now, I don’t know if you know my wife, and God forbid if I ever told you her age or weight, but she doesn’t go a buck twenty soaking wet. Lo and behold, as I looked out of the shed, here she came down the hill leading to the backyard with that chair hoisted up over her head.

Her determination to save that chair was inspiring, to say the least.

It didn’t take me long to figure out this was no place for tough love. It was time for a compromise.

We still have the chair. It’s not for sitting on any more. It’s more of a yard ornament. The chair has found a new home under one of the apple trees.

I kind of have to admit the chair looks happy just sitting there. About the only thing the chair holds now is memories. It’s been just a little over a week since the chair was saved from the junk pickup, and, truth be told, I am glad it was.

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