You know those picket fence headboards? Pottery Barn and others sell them for kids’ rooms. I want one for my bed. Queen size. Painted white. I said this to a friend a few days ago, while we were at breakfast. He’s 86 and recovering from his second eye surgery. He’s not adjusting well to the fact that parts of his body have to be mended, repaired, medicated. He’s used to running up and down his own hill, carrying his own heavy equipment. Now he’s depressed. A couple of us call every day to see how he feels or to ask him to go out for a while.
I’m still unpacking in this hundred-year-old-new-to-me house and loving the farmhouse look of a few rustic pieces. I told him I’ve decided on a picket fence headboard. He quickly said ”I’ll build it!” He said to let him know how high and how wide and do I want the pickets flush or with spaces between? Stained or painted? I went online to find do-it-yourself designs, printed them out and gave them to him yesterday over lunch. I also mentioned that one website said it’s easiest just to go to Home Depot, buy a section of picket fence, and call it a done deal. He insisted he’d rather build it. He called last night to say that (even with the one blurry eye) he enjoyed reading about all the different styles of picket fence furniture. He sounded like himself again.
I wonder what 86 feels like. I’m quite sure that I do want to be 86. Today feels to me like too much to do in too short a time, and yet here’s my friend brightening up for days over something as simple as a new project to take into his workshop. It’ll be interesting to see how long this takes and how it turns out and whether the process remains interesting to him. I’ll take pictures of the new headboard and post them here when it’s attached to my bed in this old house.
© Anita Garner 2010