Last week on a spontaneous thrifting adventure with my husband, I found woven placemats for 50 cents each at the same store where we bought our “new” dining room table. The table is so pretty that I don’t want to cover it with a tablecloth. Still I’m afraid that hot plates and such will keep marring the surface. Placemats seemed like the right fix, and these placemats were perfect . . . except that I only had two and a table for 10.
This is when I decided to Google the brand name of the mats and found them at Kohl’s — on sale! After consulting Ben, we drove to the Kohls in our town and bought all eight they had left, which was exactly as many as I wanted.
Because we are on a small budget and because I typically buy items at thrift stores for less than $5, I felt really guilty for spending $50 on these new placemats. It may be why I tossed and turned last night. Some people reading this are thinking I’m silly, and others (probably thrifty people) totally understand.
Last night, I dreamed I was on a ship in a great storm. The ship rocked with the wind as I tried to coerce wandering children safely below deck. When I awoke, I was in the same storm, but I was safe and dry in my bed.
It was 5:00am when my husband’s phone sounded a siren to alert us that these severe storms would hover over our part of the county for several hours. Ben woke up enough to meander downstairs and check on our basement, which occasionally leaks.
Soon, he was back in our room, asking for my help and suggesting I get dressed for hard work. The majority of the basement floor was covered in an inch of standing water and about five pencil-sized holes weren’t leaking but instead running like faucets. While Ben patched what he could with hydraulic cement, I caught water in buckets and pots and moved anything the water might damage.
Two hours later, when the water stopped pouring from the walls, we looked at each other with mutual exhaustion and brought the project to a quitting point. Ben had to leave for work in less than an hour, but I was determined he should have a good breakfast first. I scrambled some eggs, baked some frozen biscuits.
Depending on our theology, we may disagree on the depth of right and wrong choices and how they affect other events. We may disagree on what constitutes necessity in material possessions. In any case, my husband and I sat at the table this morning with its pretty, woven placemats, and a certain grace of that redeemed our day.