Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My Bed

The bed I sleep on, when I'm not spending the night on the sofa holding a coughing baby upright, is really nifty. It holds no special family history per se, but is an old, heavy iron thing. My mom bought it at Goodwill for $12, because although she had no need for it, she's never one to pass up a bargain like that.

It sat rusting away in the garage for a long while and periodically I'd spot it and remind my mom that one day I wanted that bed. It had been there long enough that she'd almost forgotten about it and thought she didn't have rails for it -- and old iron beds take unusual rails. Still I'd tell her I wanted it, whenever I'd see it stuck in that back corner.

When I was due to head down to Tuscaloosa for graduate school, I decided that the time had come for me to take that bed with me. We hauled it out from behind all the other piles of junk antiques and discovered that there were indeed rails with it. An iron bed after years in a damp garage is not a beautiful sight. We had three days to take off all the peeling paint and all the rust and repaint the bed before I left for Alabama. We stripped and sanded and my dad used a wire brush attached to his drill and somehow we got that thing down to beautiful bare non-rusty metal. It was gorgeous and I was almost ready to leave it that way.

It had been painted white and I had thought to repaint it the same, but after talking it over, we decided to give it a faux verdigris paint job. Not using one of the kits you can buy at the hardware store, but making up our style as we went along. After a rust-killing primer, we painted the whole thing copper and then used three colors of green daubed on with paper towels and sponges for the effect. A little more drying time would have been good, though, because I felt one or two wet spots when we loaded it on to the truck.

But it was my bed. A double bed that was all my own, special because I'd worked hard on it with my parents -- one of my first furniture refinishing jobs.

Justin and I got married about 5 months after I refinished the bed. So it became our bed. Though most people want more room than that, a double bed has always been spacious enough for the two of us. We fit quite well on it and for ourselves don't need anything larger. However, on mornings when we have three children trying to squeeze in and around us and I find myself clinging to an inch of the mattress and hoping that I don't land unceremoniously on my tush, I wonder whether we might be better off with a bigger bed.

But this is my special bed. The one I always wanted and worked hard to refinish. The one and only bed that my husband have used in our home since we got married. I'm very attached to it.

The time has come for us to get a new mattress. The mattress I took off to grad school over seven years ago was from my parents' guest room. Who knows how old it was then and it is certainly seven years older now.

But what to do? Do we get a new double mattress and keep clinging to a corner of the bed when the children invade, have extensions put on this bed to make it a queen, which would look a bit funny, or do we put the whole thing in the attic and get a bigger bed and mattress? I just don't know. I can't imagine not walking into my room and seeing my bed.

bed.JPG


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