Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Making my bed, revisited

Here's a blog post that I started a few weeks back, during "normal" times.  It makes me smile, so I'm posting it now.

The metal bed frame that my husband and I have used for the 2+ decades of our marriage has 5 wheels, one in the center of the bed, and that one has been attached with duct tape for some years now. 
A metal bar with a duct-taped wheel trying to escape while it still can.

The duct-tape worked better than you might imagine.  Also what worked better than expected is a twisty tie that held that middle bar to the surrounding frame.

Well, that is, the fix worked well until it didn't.   I think moving to a new house put additional pressure on this whole set-up, and recently the twisty ties (and then, eventual actual nut that I purchased in a fit of adult responsibility) would sometimes come apart.  But stressing one part of a system puts stress on other parts of a system, and the middle strut of the frame didn't like the duct-taped wheel, and as a result it started cracking a bit. A few weeks ago, I decided that it's getting close to the time to suck it up and go buy a new bed frame. Sigh.
You can't quite see it, but there's a crack in that metal strut on the floor.
Replacing this bed frame involves a bunch of things I hate to do (which, of course, is why I've devised creative -- if eventually ineffective -- ways to keep this bed frame hanging together).  First and foremost, it would mean going to a store, one of those places that seems more and more to me like Temples to the Gods of Consumption.  Driving my car, parking in giant parking lots devoid of trees or grass, wandering through massive boxy Aisles of Excess increasingly makes me feel like a worshiper of Baal or the equivalent.  Second, it would mean purchasing something made out of precious resources from our finite Earth.  So in addition to damaging my soul, I'd also be scarring the planet.  And thirdly, of course, there's also the whole spending-money-thing.  You can see why I was making do with duct tape and twisty ties.  (And seriously, they really did work well for a few years!).

Then, in what seems  like a completely different story, at the end of February I reminded my running buddies that this day would be their last chance to have a Saturday Leap Day run until 2048, at which point I might not even be organizing the Saturday runs any more. In spite of that awesome inducement, only one of my buddies showed up.  This particular running buddy, like me, tends to be frugal.  (My favorite story about her is that for several years she and her husband shared their one pair of running shoes, because they happen to have the same size feet.  The only problem they had with that, she told me, is that they could never run together).  

We had a really nice 10K run up and down the rolling hills in our city and a nearby park. And toward the end, as we were chuffing our way along the 300-block of West Nearby Street, we passed a metal bed frame at the curb with a sign saying "free! Queen/King bed frame".   I should add that the 300-block of West Nearby Street is the closest point on our run to my own home:  only one block away from my house, in fact.    It was as though miraculous beings had placed this bed frame in our path, just at the time I needed it.  

It's like Deux ex Machina, really. 
My running buddy and I cut our run short by about two or three blocks, and we carted this bed frame back to my house, getting in a little bit of a strength workout in the process.  

So guess what? We have a new (to us), much more stable bed frame now. (It has 6 wheels!)  And no stores, and no pointless squandering of the Earth's resources, and no money spent.  Sometimes, life is unexpectedly wonderful, you know?

The Tuesday after I found the bed frame, I went, as usual, to the soup kitchen where I serve breakfast once a week.  Before we serve, we sit down together for a breakfast of our own, and this day I sat down next to a guest/worker at the mission who was counting out wads of bills.  He'd just come into some money and was getting ready to go buy shoes and a suit, he told me.  I started telling the table about the saga of the bed frame.  When our meal was over and we were getting up to go work in the kitchen, the guy came over to me and said, "I'm glad to hear you found that frame.  Before you got to that part of the story, I was getting ready to hand you $50 so you could just go buy one."

Aww.  I really don't deserve how lucky I am sometimes, to be surrounded by so many caring, sharing people.

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