That old couch.
Bought, along with its sibling the big-red-chair, at the tail end of the 1990s at a Sears Whole Home store in Burlington (and shipped to the house on the Kingston Road for $35 in some freaky rip in the shipping-cost-space-time-continuum).
In 2000, it moved to town. And so many of the early photos of our burgeoning family were set there: infant Olivia on my chest, falling asleep; friends gathered for her first birthday party; grandparent visits; and on and on.
Torn and worn and patched and recovered several times. An almost permanent place for Olivia in recent years, to the point where I expect you could create a new Olivia by using it as a mould.
It was time for it to go.
Lisa’s been a breath of fresh air in my life, and a breath of fresh aesthetic in this house: it’s such a wonderful thing to reshape the spaces with her; we have design sensibilities that are pleasantly divergent and overlapping. I’ve been nudged in wonderful new directions, and have done nudging of my own, and the result ends up being very much an expression of our #togetherness.
After last month’s repainting, the next logical step was couch replacement.
Shopping locally for furniture on Prince Edward Island is a challenge: the selection is small, the aesthetic more Anne Shirley than is called for, and, due supply chain issues, even if something’s “here,” it’s likely not here.
My friends Angela and Josh spoke highly of a sectional from Cozey; I’d considered buying one of their couches last year, while on a less ambitious redesign jag, but shied away. Lisa and I took another look this summer, and their Ciello model caught our eye: it’s lower-slung than the original model, more Miami than Zurich.
We pondered. I hemmed. I hawed. And then, on September 1, I placed an order.
It arrived yesterday, via courier, in 14 boxes.
That’s a lot of boxes. A lot of unboxing. A lot of fitting sections together just so.
But the result is wonderful, and I love it. I’m sitting on it right now.
So much of my life in the immediate wake of Catherine’s death was taken up with unburdening: unburdening myself from guilt and shame and loss, unburdening years worth of her accumulations, unburdening this house from the notion that it should, could never change, that it was simply unchangeable given the pathways worn deep into it.
So much of my life more recently has been taken up with growing, stretching, recognizing: seeing the myriad parts of me and how they relate to each other, how I feel about myself, how I relate to others.
And so unburdening has turned to inhabiting. And it is a delight.