Curbside Rescue

We had stayed after church on Sunday for a potluck/pitch-in that I had not known was planned.  That was fine as we had to stay in Big Town anyway till that evening for another event at church.  As my husband was out of town, and the wind had turned cool, I decided to take George and Jack to the library for a few hours afterwards.

We were almost at the library when I saw some bookcases sitting along the curb.  Where we live that means they are free.  I like free, it is my favorite price. 🙂

With the remodel going on at our house, I am not exactly in the market for more bookcases.  The one exception is for a tall narrow one to use in our closet to hold shoes.  I had done some shopping online and found a few, but none that really fit what I was looking for and at a reasonable price.  I had resigned myself to the fact that I may have to spend $30 or more on wire shelves in order to find something that could be narrow enough.  I only had just under 12″ free in which to work.

As we got closer to the shelves I did not really slow down, after all, I’m not in the market for more shelves.  More importantly, we were in Big Town and I was in my car with two kids.  There was no way a shelving unit was going to fit into my car.

We were right in front of the shelves when… you know where this is going, don’t you?  We were right in front of them when I realized exactly how narrow these things were.  50 feet later I turned onto a side street and made a U-turn.  I had to move quickly, as the road we went back to had no parking on either side, but did have a bike lane on the side I needed to be on.  There was also a fair amount of traffic.  Stressing to the boys how very important it was to stay seated, I popped our trunk and got out.

curbside rescue bookcase collage

By this point, George and Jack were just excited to actually be stopping to pick up something for free that we could take home.  You could feel the air vibrate with excitement when I made the U-turn.  Yup, I’m training them right, though they still have a way to go.  I try to stress that we only take things we actually have a use for, not just because it is free and you want “some thing” more.  If we do not need it, we leave it for someone else who might.

As I got out I was pretty sure the unit would not fit into my trunk.  All I had to do was get it so it would stay, then fix it once I got to the library parking lot.  Now, let me say that if my husband was with me, he would have been driving and would never have turned around.  Maybe it was a good thing he was not there.  He will enjoy the end result  much more not knowing what it looked like to begin with or exactly how I obtained it.  🙂  In these cases he tells me that ignorance is bliss.

We made it to the parking lot only to find that it would not fit through the opening from the trunk into the main part of the car when my back seats were laid down.  It did not matter how I changed around booster seats, it just was not going to go all the way into the car.  The boys were a bit sad, thinking we would have to leave it behind.  Jack was coming up with all sorts of elaborate plans.  One may have even invovled a helicopter.  So proud of my kid who only a few years ago had NO imagination.  I told them the solution was much simpler – we would take it back to church, leave it there till we went back this evening (we do not want to be sitting around Big Town with our trunk open for a few hours), then drive home with it hanging partially out of the trunk.  The boys agreed, at which time Jack switched and began to come up with elaborately written notes to put on the unit so no one would take it and they would know it was ours.  All 10 other people who were going to be at church.  🙂

The plan worked and we made it home, everything in one  piece.  The unit fits within a few 8th’s of an inch.  I was able to get a better look at it while wiping it down.  A coat of Kilz and paint and it will look better than new.  There is some water damage to the bottom, but it is on a side facing a wall so not a bit issue.

I do not have before and after pictures right now, as we picked it up just yesterday and I have been working on the closet, it is going to be put into soon. (That post to follow very soon, once it gets finished.) For now, try to imagine …

… new white-ish coat of paint on the inside and maybe the outside. I have some leftover paint in the basement from a few years ago.  It is going to be mixed together to paint this bookcase turned shoe rack, as well as the trim in the closet.

… a light blue background to match the wall behind it.  The wall in the closet is going to be a light blue thanks to some “Oops” paint I got at a large home improvement store.

I was thinking of looking for pieces of trim in my stash in the basement, then realized I was getting sidetracked on a detail I can add later.  My hope is to have this unit and the closet finished by Friday.  By Sunday, when my husband returns, I hope to have everything put back into place and a new, more spacious and orderly closet waiting for him.

bookcase location in closet remodel