Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The desk

I needed to organize my office. It was a hellish pit. I had papers and junk stacked in teetering piles on an old metal desk with flaking paint and a scratched up melamine top I had painted sage green. Now the fake wood grain was peeking through where the paint had worn off.

Too much shoe-horned into a tiny, 1927 sleeping porch. A bookshelf. A huge metal file cabinet. A bunch of miscellaneous boxes of paperwork and kitchen tools that haven't been picked up yet. A 1960s Wurlitzer piano and the aforementioned L-shaped office desk.

The fact is, my work suffered because of this chaos. I was embarrassed for people to see my office, and since it is attached to the living room with a set of french doors, it is impossible to hide.

I tore off the 'L' of the L-shaped desk. I threw away garbage bags full of old magazines and outdated mail and paid bills and junk mail. I cleared the printer off the desk got all the supplies and paperwork put away onto the bookshelf. I cleaned and sorted and tossed.

And then I went hunting for a desk.

I knew I wanted wood. But was astonished at the prices. A decent one started at about $400 and went up from there. So, maybe a resale shop? I checked around. And then checked some more. The little place up the street from me had a desk, but it was too big.

So, last week, I went to the salvation army. No desk, but an awesome desk lamp from the age of stream line. Probably from the 40s or 50s. $5. I brought it home.

Then, a week later, I stopped in my local resale shop and poked around. Listen, I said to the owner. I am looking for a wooden double pedestal desk. If you find one, please let me know. I handed him my card.

He wasn't sure what I was talking about, however, so I drew a little sketch on the card and headed home.

1 hour later he called to tell me that he had a desk for me to check out. What's it made of, I asked, hoping it wasn't melamine. Walnut, he said. I started to get excited.

And sure enough. It fit exactly. It belonged to a physician who had his office in his house. It is built like a brick you know what and has 6 drawers and beautiful legs and weighs a ton and will likely get passed on to my kids. And it was $129 plus tax.

The next day I found a walnut bankers chair on craig's list that was made in 1936 and still has it's label on it. It tilts on a cast iron mechanism and makes the most delightful screech.

Then I decided to give away my piano and found a guy who is starting a foundation to give music lessons to poor kids in his neighborhood. Come and get it, I said. He is coming next week.

It's all good.

Thanks be to God.


Laura said...

What a beautiful desk! I am SO jealous. I like that chair also. I have a sleek vintage 2001 Hold Everything desk which works, but doesn't have the character of yours!

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

LOL, Laura, I suspect my desk holds more than the Hold Everything desk. I can't believe how much drawer space this thing has!

I am pretty tickled about it, I have to admit.

Keep your eyes pealed, girl. Maybe you'll find one too!