Saturday March 19th 2016, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

(Nope, still just white buds on the English Morello but I’ve got more flowers on the Stella cherry for you.)

We were the parents of two children under four years old and a third was on the way come the next spring. We had moved into our first house from a series of furnished apartments over our young marriage–we had basically nothing.

And so one crisp fall Saturday we went off to some place off thataway to buy a can of finish and not one but two cheap plain pine dressers for our little ones, a little do-it-yourself-ing ahead that would make them really ours (and a little more respectable). It took some doing to squeeze them home in our old Toyota wagon behind the two car seats.

Since I was pregnant, Richard took it upon himself to apply a finish to those on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And I’ll never forget, because the next morning, after a night of being utterly unable to sleep for the severity of a headache–and headaches for me were a rare thing–and when our two little ones were up all night anyway throwing up, and then finally Richard threw up–in the morning, after my collapsing by the side of the bed for the pain but coming to when I hit the floor, unable to stand, Richard was asking into the phone if this could be a reaction to that pungent wood finish wafting up the stairs. It was November. You don’t open the windows in New Hampshire in November.

Or, since we had eaten leftovers, the stuffing had been left out too long and too warm Thursday. Food poisoning?

The answer was a complete and total surprise: the doctor asked, Do you have a coal-burning stove?

Yes, and we had used it for the first time the day before.

The second thing he said was, since he had declared us to have carbon monoxide poisoning, Can you drive yourselves to the hospital? (There was no 911 service in that town at that time, just Sister So-and-So from church with her trusty snow-worthy Suburu wagon, ready and willing to transport anyone who needed it as her act of service of the day. I am told there is an actual ambulance now.)

Me, no way, but somehow Richard managed it. When they sampled his blood they came back wide-eyed and asked, How?!

He was taking care of his family. He had to make it. So he did.

We moved a lot of stuff around today to make way for the furniture Michelle needed to temporarily store here and now that’s all done.

There is this one old pine dresser that’s been plastered in little-kid stickers for a very long time, an art project when Mommy wasn’t looking. It hasn’t been in her room in a long time and now there’s no longer space for it anywhere at all.

And I’m torn between, we finally get to get rid of it (but let’s scrub those off first), and, there’s a bit of history to that thing that nobody else could know or would even want to know. My kids lived to stick those stickers on. And that dresser was innocent all along.

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