Furniture Follies

We spent the night at CeeCee’s house and noticed the house didn’t budge when the wind blew or when one of us was moving around.  We can get used to this.

The plan for the day was to drive to Los Angeles to pick up Grandpa’s drum.  The whole Grandpa-Drum thing is vague.  My father used to talk about Grandpa playing it in parades, but I have no clue as to the purpose or what organization he belonged to.  What I do know is that his drum, a field drum (slightly larger than a snare drum) was quietly resting in a closet in my mother’s house for 50 years.  When she died, I put it on consignment hoping some collector would buy it and give it a good home.  As fate would have it, there happens to be a perfect place to display it in our new home and we made arrangements to pick it up.

We drove to Los Angeles early enough to have breakfast and stop at a furniture store (The Furniture Barn) before picking up the drum.  Jeanne wanted some replacement knobs for the dining room hutch.  Little did we know what was in store for us.

Before returning to California, it was clear we needed living room chairs and a small breakfast table and chairs.  We found the style we wanted in Grand Junction, but were a little put off by the prices and decided to keep looking.  For any economist reading this triplog, our perception of price vs. value wouldn’t reconcile.

The Furniture Barn is familiar to us.  They carry a good selection of wood furniture, mostly oak, at good prices.  We stopped there to pick up replacement knobs but got sidetracked looking at furniture.  To make a long story short, we ended up buying a breakfast table with chairs and two reclining chairs for the living room.  The recliners were Chinese knockoffs that were less than half the cost of the originals.  We were thrilled, but how were we going to get this stuff back to Ventura?

Here was the plan: Make a dash to Ventura to pick up the Penske truck one day early and drive like hell back to Los Angeles to load the furniture.  Yeah, we can do it!  No problem!  Its only 120 miles round trip, in traffic!  After picking up the drum and making a few phone calls, we were on our way to Penske.

For about three weeks, we have been going back and forth on truck size.  The issue is maneuvering room in the storage facility.  We know a 22 foot truck could make the tight turns, but the next size up, the 26 foot truck, might be too long.  We rented the 22 footer, but my little voice warned of a self-inflicted disaster.

For readers who never drove on California roads in an industrial strength vehicle, the roads are extremely unforgiving.  In an unloaded 22 foot truck with coal wagon-like suspension, the ride is absolutely jolting.  Our dental fillings were coming loose and chunks of wax fell from our ears.  Jeanne’s earrings battered her senseless.  Conversation was out of the question.

When we finally arrived at The Furniture Barn and loaded the table and chairs, we realized, at the same instant, that the 22 foot truck was too small.  When we called the folks at Penske, they just laughed and said it happens all the time; no problem renting a bigger truck.  Except for the jolting return trip to Ventura, we were relieved.