I headed off in pursuit of a Bernina (sewing machine) advertised on Craigslist in an attempt to replace my long lost love. It was just one more small step in the whole distressing sewing machine saga (expletives expunged). The navigator on my phone was sketchy, and the quest took longer than I expected (though I would have gone further for my preciousssss). The advertisement said McDonough, but the first road off the interstate kept on and on eastward before I reached my first turn. It was longer than the hour’s drive I anticipated. The landscape was inviting and it reminded me that if my life could be down here, I could have twice the home and land with a large victory garden and space for much less money.
I arrived at a beautiful house, but the machine was not my precious. I was newish to my search and didn’t know the Bernina model numbers well. To complicate things, Bernina repeats model numbers. I knew before I went that this was not the exact machine I was looking for, but I didn’t know if it was close enough to do for a while. The seller and I both wanted the sale to make and we were both disappointed that it didn’t.
As I left through her garage, there was the pile of garage sale leftovers. You know the pile, the one that’s about to be donated to the closest cause. I asked about the wooden bookcase in the middle of it. It had been painted poorly. The entire bottom of one shelf was bare wood, but the other bottoms were painted. It needed re-painting, but it was solid pine construction and in sound structural condition. She asked more than I wanted to pay (the all time biggest cause of garage sale leftovers). But, occasionally I will buy something that can get my gas money back, because, hey, the search costs, whether you cover it or not. I think we were both disappointed on the bookcase as well, but we did make that deal.
The bookcase didn’t fit in the car, but somehow I managed to get it in anyway and avoided being licked to death by her dog at the same time. When I bought it, I had a few ideas and knew that it would be a great for displaying items in our short lived booth at Queen .
I stopped at every thrift store I could find on the way home, another attempt to get the most from my gas money and potentially find new places to hunt for treasures. Still, at the end of a long day, what I had to show for my time was one bookcase that I almost didn’t buy.
The bookcase wintered in storage because we don’t have a good place to paint in the apartment or the temperatures that the paint requires to set properly, but with this recent little burst of spring Russ has given it new life. He painted it and put some of his unique art on it. He made a beautiful save. Russ does what we call doodling, for lack of a better word. And his fresh paint and doodling made all the difference.
There is this thing called the 80/20 rule that applies to our bookshelf. There are a lot of 80/20 rules actually. Most derive in some way from the Pareto Principle, 80% of the effects come from 20% of causes. Productivity coaches often use some version of the principle to teach clients to focus on the most productive activities so they can boost business to the place where the mundane 80% time sink can be hired out. In our case the 80% is in the treasure hunt and it could never be hired out. And yes, that’s a great big limiting factor.
This bookcase is a great example good teamwork though and I hope a harbinger of things to come.