Three weeks ago I had foot surgery to repair a failed tendon and the damage it had done. I was ready. I’ve worn a brace for six years, so it was time.
But, surgery is never fun and often inconvenient. After all, six weeks of non-weight bearing and a twelve week recovery wasn’t my idea of a normal fall season.
Fortunately I have an extremely helpful and resourceful husband. “I’ll have to get that old footstool up from the basement and fix it so you can use it,” he said. I was delighted. We both pictured the small stool we knew was “somewhere” and smiled in delight that it would be used.
But, when he went looking he didn’t find it. Instead he found another one which I think is actually a better size and didn’t need repaired. So, I started using it.
I use it in front of my pink rocking chair in the bedroom where I’m currently sitting. I use it under the table, so I can sit and work on my computer or work puzzles without having my foot down the whole time. It has been quite a useful little stool.
Then my husband asked this. “Do you know where I got this stool?”
My story radar went off. I love a good story and I wasn’t disappointed. It turns out that when Bruce was in graduate school “umptyjillian years ago”, as he likes to say, he found a wooden box in the lab that was to be thrown away. He took it home. Then he found a piece of foam which he added to the stash, and finally a scrap of brown and tan material. He had all the makings of a stool, except for the castors, which he bought. Now, he just had to put it together.
“Kay’s dad made it for me,” he continued. Kay was his neighbor and Bruce has been life-long friends with Kay and her late-husband Robin.
“Really!” I exclaimed.
“Yep. He asked me what that was all for and I told him. He took it home and brought the footstool back to me.”
I looked under the table at the ragged old footstool and smiled. A great story, indeed. But Bruce wasn’t done.
“You know, Kay’s father was a prisoner of war in WWII? And, if I remember right, he was in the Bataan Death March. He was a tough old bird.”
So, now this rather pitiful looking old ratty footstool has a special place in my heart too. We are story people and we are people people. And when we connect a story, a person, and an item together. . . well, it’s a very special thing.
This, folks, is why we will never be minimalists.