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Friday, February 5, 2010

One Cool Stool

You see this little old white step stool, that our dog Dion is so curious about?

It's a newcomer to That Old House, but it's no stranger to hard work.

It was long ago nailed together from pine boards, painted a robin's egg blue:

(Can you see the traces of blue under the cracks and chips?)

Then, repainted white, and used and used and used and used . . . and it is not yet used up.

At some point, it was repaired. Look underneath, and you can see that its old leg
has a split or big crack, and that explains the boards nailed outside, for strength and support.
Waste not, want not.

That's the Show. Now for the Tell.

How did this old chipped and crazed step stool wind up in my kitchen, being molested by a suspicious spaniel?

A church friend asked me if I wanted it. Willa had devotedly cared for a very elderly member of our church, and when Ellie passed away and Willa was sorting out her things, she found this stool. "It's worn, and old, not in very good shape, but when I saw it I thought that it belonged at your house," she said. "Do you want it?"

Of course I did. We could run a halfway house
for the old and worn and not-in-very-good-shape things of this world.

But this stool has many years of service left. It's sturdy and strong, and its hard-earned "chippy" patina tells the story of the many times it has been put to good use, to reach that jar at the back of the shelf, or boost a child to reach a kitchen faucet for hand-washing, or help someone reach up to paint the trim over the door.

I like the color of those paint drips, don't you? Sort of butterscotch.

As for Dion, he has not made up his mind about this newcomer on his turf.
But as long as the newcomer doesn't claim sofa space or cookie treats, he'll come around.

And for myself, as I develop my own chipped and cracked patina, I hope I can manage to always find mission in life, and be useful. It's a very high calling, for this step stool, and for me.

Willa also said I might want to repaint this old stool. But I have a feeling she knows I won't.

Go check out other Show & Tell stories at Cindy's My Romantic Home blog.
You will be glad you did. I promise! -- Cass


  1. Dion is such a cutie. Who wouldn't love that face? The stool is an old soul that now will be just at home there. Many more years of usage ahead.

  2. This is a great stool. It tells a story. And you did too, Cass. I love your last line about your mission.

    We had a stool that I found when the kids were young. It got a you said, to reach those countertops and get to the faucet to wash their hands. I wish I had tried to repair it when they outgrew it, just to give it another purpose. Oh, well. Maybe I will meet a Willa! ;-)


  3. I agree that is one cool stool. Your pup is pretty cool too!

  4. Well, I wouldn' paint it either-I think it's lovely as it is. And Dion is just ADORABLE!
    xoxo Pattie

  5. This Ozarks farm chick is lovin' your little stool. Ya just can't buy somethin' that has that much character. A new coat of paint would just take that away! It's perfect as is.

    Ya'll have a wonderfully blessed weekend from the hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa!!!

  6. Oh how you make me laugh! I myself do run a halfway home for strange animals with strange problems!
    **happy smiles** Deb

  7. Love that Dion face :-)... and, your description here.. your mission, your "patina"... beautifully said.

    Not crazy about the butterscotch spots and I'm thinking that Robin's Egg blue would be a beautiful restorative accent to that old stool. Maybe as simple as sanding it down just a bit here and there.. to look "distressed" as they say now.

  8. Love the stool and the post. I could use one of those and I wouldn't paint it either. Dion has such lovely eyes!

  9. I was a little nervous about the title of this post and was happy to see it was a lovely little stool. I always need a step up.

  10. That is indeed, a very cool stool! No painting required! Love it.

  11. I love the blue color underneath the white and would paint it that color again. Cute story!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  12. Dion is just too cute with those huge eyes. Love the stool too.
    Great analogy.

    Becky K.

  13. Oh Cass!
    How I love visiting with you!
    of course you can't see that i'm still in jammies at 1:17 in the afternoon,felines lazing about in the sunshiny spots on the floor and my desk..
    my sis has one of those little all things cherished, it too has a story..
    daddy made it when we were kids and that was four of us using it eons ago..
    seems she rescued it from his home when her son needed a boost at the bathroom sink and potty..
    now that he is grown and gone, we still use it for reaching high cabinets or whatevers..
    I've even used it as a place to park my patootie when talking on the phone..
    and no, it has never been repainted,instead bearing drips and dribbles, as well as a youngsters artwork and scribbles!
    thanks for the memories..
    love your posts..are you sure you aren't another long lost sister of mine?
    warm hugs..laughing smiles..

  14. Really like the little stool, but LOVE that sweet little face of Dion.
    Have a great weekend.

  15. That darn dog is soo funny--checking out that stool.
    Oh, sooo cute.

    Have a great weekend!
    Stay warm


  16. Wouldn`t you love to hear your stool tell you the story about the butterscotch paint?I love it just the way it is,love your doggie too!phylliso

  17. So cute. Those wide eyes will melt you. I am sure the stool will be happy in its new home.

  18. Oh, look at Dion! He is adorable! My BFF has a King Charles, and we all love him dearly. I think these are the world's best pups... great dispositions, cute, quiet, loyal. I adore them!

    Sorry, Cass, I got so wrapped in that cute pooch that I failed to comment on the stool. I like it chippy. I think it gives it character. I was thinking the other day that women used to have character when I was looking at pictures of the legendery decorator Nancy Lancaster and noticed she had flabby arms in one shot... imagine! ;-) Now everyone wants to iron every wrinkle (or bo-tox) it and hide every blemish. I guess I will be one of the few left with "character." LOL! ;-)

    On that note, I vote to leave the stool in its current state of wear.


    Sheila :-)

  19. HI Cass! Oh, what a cute little stool! Now you know every time your show little Dion - he just steals the show!! Chloe Dawn sends him a puppy kiss! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  20. Cass, a wonderful Show and Tell! A nice story about an old step stool and a sweet doggie who's try to adjust. Thanks for commenting on Maxine... :)

  21. That is so cute. I love the stool, but my dog is the same way...he doesn't mind what is here, but if I bring in a new pillow or anything...he isn't quite sure. He must have been talking to my husband!!

  22. Hi Cass:

    Just found your's wonderful!

    I adore the patina on that precious chippy stepstool and the story behind it. I have an old beadboard cabinet that came from my church's Sunday School room when they were renovating which I got in much the same way, "They were going to throw it away, but it looked just like you.

    I have a similar patina on a wonderful old windowed door which I use in my living room.

    Love the blog,

    Annie @ The View from 256


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