Last week, they had a treasure--a cubbyhole shelf made for a kindergarten class. It was hardwood, something along the lines of two shelves of 12 cubbies each over a long row of pegs to hang your coat on. It's pretty neat. A little on the unfinished side, never varnished with some nails hammered in at odd angles, but a neat piece all the same.
I got bold, walked next door, and asked how much they wanted for it. I had a $20 in my pocket. They said they wanted a hundred--that was what the lumber was worth. Elderly couple, the husband--the carpenter--was starting to get a little dotty in his old age. Alzheimer's. I said I could go up to $50, and that was a stretch.
That was a week ago. It stayed out in the driveway, and I cringed a bit when a rainstorm hit. The wood warped, just a little bit, I think a hammer and power sander and some wood filler will take care of it.
This morning--at 6:50, mind--the wife rang my doorbell. I'm bleary, no glasses, wrapped in a comforter because I'm too morning-stupid to figure out where my pants or robe are. "Did I wake you?" she asked. I say something incoherant.
But, she agreed to sell me the shelf for $50. The sky today was awfully gray, so I ran home during lunch, lugged the 80+-pound beast into my garage (Strength of 10 queers!) and left a note saying I didn't want it to get damaged by the rain. About a minute after I left the note, the rain started, a slow, steady drizzle.
If we sanded it down, painted it white, and put color-changing bulbs in the 24 (or more) cubbyholes, it'll look SO COOL. It's such a pity I don't have a section of the house big enough to hold it.
addendum: I have NO idea how I'm going to mount this to a wall. Maybe I'll be talking to my carpenter father by then.