A story about an old bed and an old man…

by Bella Rum

My son’s shoes when he was a little guy…

We’ve been working on another project around here for the past couple of weekends. There was very little money involved. It was mostly about elbow grease. That seems to be the way with most of our projects.

On recent visits, my grandchildren have slept in the guest room with their parents. The youngest slept in my son’s old crib, and the 3-year-old used an air mattress. We’re hoping for more frequent and longer visits now that we’re home. This situation helped us choose our most recent project.

H and I decided to turn his workout room into a bedroom for them. H only took pause for a minute there, but he’s actually been working out in the bedroom since we returned home anyway. He left his television at Dad’s, and he needs a television to use workout DVDs.

The room was already a medium blue, and I already had a crib for the youngest. So we were halfway there. All we needed was a bed. I had just the thing.

When my son was almost 3-years-old, I went on a scavenger hunt because that’s what I always did back then. We didn’t have a lot of money, and it was cheaper, and I had a penchant for old things anyway. I (and sometimes H) would crawl all over thrift stores and junk shops in search of just the right thing.

In this case, all we had to do was roam around a dusty, mouse infested barn that belonged to H’s stepfather. When he realized I was looking for an old iron bed, he invited me to take a look. He enjoyed the fact that I had the druthers for old things.

We climbed up to the loft in his huge, old barn. H’s stepfather liked me very much, and I knew it pleased him to know that he had the precise thing I was looking for. Shafts of sunlight poured in through the gaps between the weathered boards. I peered through the diluted light as dust motes floated aimlessly in the air. When my eyes adjusted, I saw not one but at least half a dozen beautiful, old iron beds. He told me to choose the one I liked most.

Old relics are not everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re mine. I fell for this simple, old iron bed with lots of curly cues. You still see these beds around. They’re not the rarest of things, but I love mine, and I loved the guy who gave it to me.

I brought my prize home and proceeded to ruin it’s simple beauty by painting it a ridiculously bright red color. My son’s room had red and white striped shades and brightly colored curtains. It resembled a circus. I can say that it was cheerful.

Eventually my son got a bigger and newer bed. Over the past 30 something years, I’ve insisted and cajoled, and H has sportingly agreed to drag this bed from house to house as life changed on a dime, and we found ourselves moving yet again to new digs. I’d watch the movers or H load it on the truck, knowing it would end up somewhere in an attic or basement or garage at the other end. Even though I knew it would not be used just yet, I found it comforting that I still had it – a little bit of the past and a little bit of the future.

I continued to insist that my grandchildren would sleep in it someday. It’s very heavy, and I’ve probably paid more for moving companies to move it from place to place than it’s actually worth. But hey!

So I asked H to go up to the attic and bring it down one more time, and that has been our latest project. Have a look, but please know that I’m aware that this is a room at Grandma’s house. My son’s room was never this neat and this room will not stay this way for more than five seconds after the grandkids arrive.

…the bed… ~ A couple of coats of primer and paint, and look what we have. …gathering all the stuff together…

I found a serious bargain on the comforter, pillow and red blanket at Marshall’s. ~ Then (just like old times) we went to Goodwill to look for shelves. ($5 for the small one and $7 for the long one) They were brown wood, but white paint solved that. ~ …and this is how it all turned out…

Ta Daaa… ~ I had coupons for the curtains. Lots of coupons. ~ …and the finishing touches…

About three years ago, I found the print, Heads or Tails, at a thrift shop near Dad’s. $6.00~ Noah was found at the same thrift shop as the print for a couple of dollars. My Raggedy Ann when I was a little girl… As soon as the baby is old enough to leave the crib, I’ll be on the hunt for another old bed. God, I love junk stores.