Yesterday I did barn chores early and headed down to Connecticut to my brother’s house. My goal was to pick up an antebellum bookcase originally from the home of our great-great-great grandparents, George and Mary Minge. I imagine the bookcase dates somewhere from the 1830s-1850s. Our mother inherited it when our grandmother died, and it was in our parents’ house; my brother inherited it when our mother died.
However, the glass-fronted bookcase is 8 feet tall and 9 feet wide, and my brother had no place to put it. It has been in storage in his attic for thirteen years. When designing the interior of my house I wrote to ask if he would be willing to let the bookcase come to me. He kindly agreed, and yesterday I drove down in the truck to get it.
Thinking of its enormous size, I had stopped at the local U-haul office and rented a dozen moving blankets. I prayed we’d be able to fit the giant bookcase in the truck. DH was thrilled and spoke excitedly about shelving books before his board meeting starts today.
I’d chosen yesterday for the trip because it was due to be the single day this week without rain. The drive was long but mostly easy. I did have an exciting last half hour relying on Google directions that had me venturing down narrow paved tracks in dark forests and unmarked roads all over the county — “proceed 392 feet, turn right” — but I eventually emerged, blinking in the light, at the charming home of my brother and his wife.
After a happy exchange of greetings and hugs, we all turned to the garage, where the bookcase was waiting.
The door rolled up. Oh, my. The bookcase is disassembled and in approximately thirty pieces. DH would not be shelving books that night.
I had known it was disassembled but had pictured three or four sections. I asked my brother if he remembered how all these Jenga pieces fit together. “I don’t really recall,” he said apologetically. Had he been the one to take the bookcase apart thirteen years ago? “I don’t recall.” This made me smile. Obviously my brother and I share the same steel-trap memory. (His wife reminded me quizzically that I’d made the exact same mistake with the Google driving directions on my last visit. Really? I don’t recall!)
Luckily my brother and I also share a knack for problem-solving. He is coming to the mountains next week and if I haven’t figured it out by then, we will tackle the bookcase puzzle together.
It was wonderful to see them both. We wrapped all the pieces in blankets. (There was no issue of room in the truck!) My sister-in-law is a storied cook and fed me a delicious chicken salad. My brother brewed a strong cup of coffee to power me down the road. And then I was off again.
Twelve hours after setting out, I was home.