Sunday, October 16, 2016

Where have all the sofas gone, long time passing...

bonar floor

This is my current seating arrangement; my brother-in-law Jim’s daughter-in-law Jessica said “it looks cozy but I’m sure it’s uncomfortable”.  She sure got that right!  Okay, I know what you’re thinking:  Doug, what happened to the new couch you got for your new apartment?  It’s gone, and I have a sore butt as I’m typing this, and I couldn’t be happier.  (Well, I could be happier—if I had another couch.)  I suppose I should’ve said I couldn’t be more grateful.

In a nutshell, the new sofa was a shoddy piece of furniture and was torturing my legs & back.  After I decided I’d be moving closer to family and found this apartment, my sister & I was browsing the furniture department of the local Big Lots & she remarked the look of one particular sofa was something I’d probably like.  She was absolutely right; it was a modern earthy-olive tweed and in a sea of brown & black leather jumbo-couches, was almost calling to me.   I gave it a quick sit-down, felt a little discomfort but figured it just needed breaking in & handed the clerk my credit card.   (It sat in storage there for nearly 3 weeks, and then in my vacant apartment for another couple weeks, waiting for me to move in.)  And for the last 3 weeks, I perched on one end, or tried to ‘squish’ myself into it’s center, anywhere to find a spot that wasn’t torturing parts of my body after sitting on it more than 10 minutes.  

Cut to 3 days ago (and a very forgiving furniture manager and a very helpful landlord) and that… thing is out of here, and I got my money back.  So now what?  My sister Shawn & her husband Jim went furniture shopping with me yesterday, we went to not one but 4 furniture stores—and honestly, I pretty much disliked most of what I saw.  (All I want is something under 80” in length, two seat cushions instead of 3 and in an olive fabric.  Is that so much to ask?)

leekActually, I did find what I was looking for—sort of.  It’s 76” in length and available in olive.  But I’d have to order it online from West Elm, it’s non-refundable and delivery time is 8-10 weeks.  That’s a lot of hard-floor time for my backside!

I can’t help but be reminded of my last sofa buying experience.  In the spring of 2000, I’d grown tired of my blue leather sofa & sold it to my other sister Donda.  My mom and sisters drove up to the city to take me furniture shopping, and we walked into the furniture department of the local Lazarus store.  And right in front sat a dark green sofa; it was a little shorter in length than your average sofa, but had a deep, deep seat.  The salesclerk said “You can get it in a wide choice of colors and fabrics.”  No, this is good.  “You can get it in different sizes.”  Nope, this will do.  They delivered it a week later & it was my favorite spot to watch tv, eat, work from home & sleep for the next 16 years. 

I had it hauled away when I moved here—most of the springs were broken, the seat cushions were propped up with sheets of plywood & the back cushions were shedding feathers faster than I’ve been shedding my hair.  But right now, I sure would love to be sitting on it typing this!


My niece Sophia on her Uncle Doug’s extra-wide couch, 2008

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Be it ever so humble, welcome to Waynesburg Pa… and Bonar Avenue

 Well, here it is & here I am—typing from my new (well, new to me) apartment in Waynesburg, Pa.  My sister Shawn, her husband Jim & his older son Michael arrived at my place in Pittsburgh this past Friday with a U-Haul, and thanks to their very generous help, by Sunday morning there wasn’t a moving carton, bag or tool in sight. 

There’s still plenty to do, as the walls are mostly bare and I need to find a new armchair for the living room.  But the hard part is done, and I can’t thank Jim & Shawn enough.  I’m in their debt, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their help.








Steps leading upstairs to my apartment; the first door on the right is mine; hmm, nice artwork in the hallways—just like apartment buildings on tv!

Here’s some pics of the place so far—it’s certainly not one of your more modern apartments, but I suppose it has a kitschy charm all it’s own. The owners seem kind and honest, and take great pride in the property. 


No more digital thermostats!  When I asked Sue (my landlord) how I adjust the heat this winter, she said “you turn the knob on your radiators on or off”


One of the two “industrial” bookcases my brother-in-law Jim assembled for me; doesn’t it look great?   (The other one is in the bedroom.)


My new couch was waiting for me the morning I moved in, thanks to my landlord who went to the furniture store & picked it up for me  


My galley kitchen, and a gas range--that’s a first for me


My new table & chairs from IKEA—I’m going back this weekend to get some seat cushions


I’m really digging the green-tile & pedestal sink, this puts my bath in Pittsburgh to shame


The bedroom, my sister’s favorite room in the apartment—I’m not doing it justice, it’s twice as wide as seen here, with a closet, dresser & second window on the opposite side

What’s ironic about moving here is how the other tenants see me; at my former place in Pittsburgh, the building had been overtaken by millennials, who regarded myself & three other tenants (Bill, Jim & Theresa) as the “old timers”.  Here, I’m currently the youngest tenant--as several of my new neighbors have let me know.  “Oh, you’re the young man from the city!” 

Yep, that’s me.  Smile