We have a large entrance foyer that has a staircase that leads up to the left. This creates a little alcove area with two adjacent walls. Wendy hired a local artist, Michelle Munson, to paint a mural on the wall that faces the front door. She painted a scene of a long winding path that is lined by trees, birds, and flowers. It looks like you could walk right into the mural and up the path. I thought it would be nice to put a park bench against the side wall as it seems like it would be a great place to sit before continuing on the journey up the path. Then, during the Christmas holiday, we could put gifts around the bench so it would look festive.
I went on eBay and did a search for park benches and I found one. Not only did I find a 6 foot long bench, but the price was incredible - only $6. The shipping was $20, but that wasn’t surprising because I could see from the picture that it had a cast iron frame with 6 foot long wooden slat seats and backrest – so that had some weight to it. But the price, only $6, oh my gosh, how could I lose? Even if it was some cheap knock off from China, it would still be a steal. I hit the ‘buy’ button with a smirk on my face as I considered myself a great bargain hunter.
Three days later UPS delivered a small 1’x1’ box. The box said it contained 1 park bench. Now I anticipated that there might be ‘some assembly required’, but how could they pack all the parts for a 6 foot bench in such a small box?
That curiosity turned into confusion as I opened the box. There inside, all wrapped in bubble wrap, was a beautifully crafted cast iron bench with wooden slat seat and backrest- all 6” of it.
What? I rushed to my computer to check the eBay listing. That was when my confusion turned to dismay and embarrassment. Now you would think that after having been in construction for over 30 years that I would know the difference between the foot symbol (‘) and the inch symbol (“). I obviously overlooked that little extra hash mark because the listing clearly indicated that it was a 6” long bench and not a 6’ long bench as I thought…
I swallowed my pride and placed the bench adjacent to the mural just as I had originally planned. Wendy, our girls, and everyone they could tell this story to - got a great laugh. Now every Christmas season, Wendy pulls the bench out of storage and proudly places it on display and gives me that silly little smirk. To her credit though – she found some tiny presents and placed them on the bench. Now my vision is complete. I love you too dear, Merry Christmas!