All I wanted for Mother’s Day was an orange Muskoka chair made from recycled plastic.

Orange, because it’s my favourite colour. Recycled because it’s good for the Earth and also light enough to move about the yard as I seek shade to protect my freckled body. I love the deep-seated high-back chairs with wide arms to hold a drink, a book and snacks. I like to pretend I’m in Muskoka when I’m sitting there.

Instead, I got a Cadbury Crème Egg. I’m not even joking. One. Just one. Unwrap that.

Speechless, I guess my facial expression said it all (including the silent expletives), because days later the Carpenter surprised me by arriving home with four weathered, wooden, rough looking Muskoka chairs and a two-seater log bench with a table in the middle.

He was so pleased with himself for this haul. My treasure hunter. Seems he scored a deal on an online marketplace and drove an hour away to collect these relics. As he pulled up with his bounty stacked up in his truck, all smiles, I had the same facial expression as I did on Mother’s Day, this time muttering expletives quietly.

As he unloaded the heap of mistreated, dilapidated outdoor furniture, I felt as sad as they looked. If this was a gift, I wasn’t loving the wrapping. I couldn’t see the potential. None of these Muskoka chairs were orange. They looked heavy and cumbersome. If I parked my posterior into one of these, the splinters would be numerous, and that is not a visual any of us need.

The Carpenter had a different vision. Each member of the family would choose their own Muskoka chair and, once sanded down, would choose the paint colour to finish it.

And since the chairs were essentially being refinished, they were being recycled, so the Carpenter got bonus points for that. He’d done good, and he knew it and wanted to be sure I knew it too. His smile and good intentions were infectious. It’s annoying, honestly. He frustrates me with his joy. So irritating. That smile. He’s redeemed.

I picked out a shade of pumpkin orange, bright and happy. Our son picked a rich heritage red, my daughter a bright turquoise pastel and the Carpenter a slate grey, very sleek. The benches would be a pastel yellow, selected by our favourite house guest, Anna, my son’s girlfriend, because she gets a seat in our circle too.

I was so excited to finally get my orange Muskoka chair that I offered to paint it myself. The Carpenter is a bit of a control freak on projects like this, but he acquiesced, leaving me to enjoy slapping two coats of sloppy pumpkin paint on my chair. Did I miss spots? Sure did. Does it look amazing? Absolutely. Should I have been allowed to put clear coat on it without supervision? Definitely not. Whatever.

The pure joy I experienced that first time I sat in my pumpkin orange Muskoka chair was worth the wait. Restored with love, painted with affection, I sank into my beautiful Kelly Throne with a book, a beverage and one Cadbury Crème Egg. I stretched my legs out and wiggled my barefoot toes in the grass, under the shade of a giant tree.


WriteOut of Her Mind