I confess: I am a Country Living kind of gal. I have wishes and dreams of old-fashioned furniture, modeled just so, like the pages of a magazine.
The reality is I live in a six-year-old nondescript house, dressed with a blend of old woodwork, cheap, packed bookshelves and worn-down sofas and chairs.
Most of my finds haven't taken much effort at all: an old school desk and chair found at an antique store; old dressers that belonged to my husband's grandfather. But really, nothing that screams "me."
And then I found freecycle. Or it found me.
Until this point, freecycle had been just a novelty to me, a way to put out calls for strange things like the long-lost DVR remote or to get rid of the random item that just hadn't made its way to Goodwill as yet.
And then one day a magical moment happened.
Someone was giving away pews. Lots of them. Free for the taking.
I'd idealized having a pew in my home, more of a decorative element than anything functional. And I figured when the time was right - when there was no college or grade-school tuition to pay; our debts were paid down - we would get one.
But on this day, the Methodist Church was doing a massive renovation, and pews - handcrafted in the 1960s - were free for the taking.
I have to say, I've been impressed with the coordinated sweep it took to get those pews out to the homes in just a few hours time. And even more impressed that they thought to donate the wood to those who were interested. Pews found homes in everything from start-up churches to homes like mine.
Right now, my pew has found a temporary home in the front of my house, while I make arrangements to pass along an old love seat to a new home. And I haven't decided still whether to keep the original finish or to strip it and stain it a nice cherry.
And while it may not be picture-perfect, I've been pleased with the moments this pew has already found - from my children playing "church" to little boys sneaking under it to play. And that beats a picturesque magazine shoot any day.