Better safe than sorry

Our story so far: We added things like to mad to the old Methodist church we were turning into our home—a balcony, a new set of front doors, a garage—but we had a hard time getting rid of an old TV left in the basement.

# # #

Unlike outmoded technology, we discovered some old things never lose their value.

Take old safes, for example.

We had been shopping for ideas to furnish the church—or chome, as my sister wanted me to refer to is as. “It’s not a church anymore, it’s your home,” she implored.

“I don’t live in it yet,” I said.

“You should at least start using some transition noun. Like, hurch. No, chome. Call it a chome.”

In any case, Tyler and I ticked off the furniture we’d already purchased for the “chome”: Sectional sofa, bar stools, china cabinet, dining room table. “We still need night stands for the master bedroom,” I said.

Nothing we saw inspired us, but apparently, the problem percolated inside Tyler’s mind. Somewhere, somehow, my creative husband got an idea that we should use old bank vaults for night stands, and he started shopping for a pair, on Craig’s list, of course. I loved the idea—a pair of distressed antique safes would be the perfect foil for the sleek chandeliers I planned for lights flanking the bed.

One day, an antique safe was advertised for sale about seventy miles north of us. If you know anything about good safes, you know they are very heavy, too heavy to ship. That’s the point with a safe—they’re hard to move in order to deter robbers from just taking the safe to open later. A seller within a ninety-minute drive would do. He offered only one safe, but Tyler believed another one would turn up at some point and that we should have a look at this one while it was available.

Tyler and I took a circuitous route the following Saturday morning through Wisconsin’s heartland, dodging bike racers part of the time (Wisconsin, I’ve come to realize is big into B things—beer, bratwurst, bicyclers—plus cheese and Friday fish fries). After navigating a long, curvy country road, we were greeted by the seller and a flock of fluffy chickens in the seller’s yard.

flock of chickens
Our greeting party fled the scene, probably to gossip like, well, a flock of chickens.

The chickens scattered, and the seller led us to the advertised safe, tucked behind a bunch of other miscellaneous items—including the unattached door to a walk-in safe—on an outdoor patio.

Impressive for an antique safe, the sale item stood about four feet tall. Too big.

I was crestfallen. A three-hour round trip drive for nothing. “This is too big,” I said. “We were looking for something we could use for night stands.”

# # #

Tomorrow: Oh, did you say night stands? See what I mean here.

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