The scramble.

Dear friends,

It was a mad scramble yesterday. Kate returned home from orientation for a two-day layover, fresh with the news that, oh yeah, her college apartment is only partially furnished and she needs a twin bed, a desk and a chair.

<insert sound of mother’s piercing scream here>

No less than three conversations with her coach and two conversations with the college’s housing staff previously failed to uncover the fact that Kate needed furniture — even though I directly posed that question to multiple parties at multiple times over the course of the last several weeks.

So I spent the afternoon and evening doing what desperate people do — combing the Craigslist ads and driving across two counties through shady neighborhoods in search of used furniture. (Note: when I say shady, I don’t mean tree-lined.)

Fortunately, times are hard and there’s furniture for sale, cheap. For $70, we came home with a computer desk, a twin sized bed, and a mattress and springs — all in reasonable shape. The bed, currently an ugly shade of brown, is going to get a coat of black paint tomorrow thanks to Mr. Mom. In return for his free labor, I promised to buy him a comfy new desk chair (so he can hand down his no-longer-gently used one to Kate) as soon as we get Kate settled in.

At this point, “settled in” won’t come fast enough. In between now and this coming weekend — when we move her to Oklahoma — I have no less than 9 meetings, a retreat, and a quick business trip to St. Louis. And a whole lot of packing.

And maybe a little fretting because I am a mother and that’s what I do best.

With gratitude {for our truck driver and furniture loader who took Kate and I on a three-hour tour of mid-Missouri last night},

Joan, who has just a few suggestions for Craigslist sellers, including 1) It would be helpful if you’d put your phone number in the ad and/or respond to emails asking for your phone number, 2) Go ahead and clean the bird poop off your desk before you try to sell it,  3) You might reconsider making your 10-year-old son the front man for your furniture sales because he doesn’t adequately describe the product and his directions to your house are less than intelligible, and 4) Telling somebody to look for the horse corral when driving in rural Missouri is about as helpful as suggesting they watch for the oak tree



  1. Information is so easily made available online, yet major institutions are recruiting and registering students without managing to get crucial data across. It is nuts, plus. We just observed our youngest, a steady hand at school applications, jump hoops to register for a second undergraduate degree. With all the info she was forced to wade through, there were yet significant gaps between what she was told and what she needed to know. Arrrrrrgh. Forget SAT and ACT scores – anybody who can figure out how to register and get living quarters squared away is definitely resourceful and intelligent enough to do college level work and should be admitted and welcomed.

    I christened my keyboard with coffee a little this AM reading “telling somebody to look for the horse corral when driving in rural Missouri is about as helpful as suggesting they watch for the oak tree”. Joan Marie you are awesome.

  2. I second texasdeb’s nomination for the best wisecrack award: “Telling somebody to look for the horse corral when driving in rural Missouri is about as helpful as suggesting they watch for the oak tree.”

  3. LOL! Good luck the next few days.

  4. Been thinking about you during this transition. Hopefully you’re holding up okay!

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