An 84 year old lady came to the shop one day to have six antique oak chairs restored. As I went outside I observed that she had an old beat up rusty van. Inside was a pile of broken chairs which she had picked up at a flea Market. The backs were carved and the seats were all split or cracked and there were missing parts. The chairs should have been destroyed, they were that bad but she insisted. The restoration took a lot of time and effort of which we had to charge accordingly to cover our time and materials. She didn’t blink when the estimate was given for the repairs.
After a few months had pasted we notified her that they were completed. She returned to the shop to pick them up but after we tried to fit them in her van I offered to deliver them to her home. She agreed to our offer but warned us that her house was in a process of renovation.
I asked my son Sam to go along with me because the lady wanted them taken to her upstairs area of her home. I have found that meeting new people and seeing how they live is a good thing for kids to observe.
As we approached the green shingled asbestos covered home you could see that it was a mess and was all run down. There was a large American flag that hung in the front bay window.
It was a rainy day and on the back of the house there was a tattered back porch roof that was being held up by two four by four post. It had a visible hole in it as rain was pouring in on top of a pile of furniture which was under a series of tarps.
I knocked on the back door and it took for ever for her to answer and I wondered what we had gotten ourselves into after Sam had made a comment about being uncomfortable about the situation.
Soon the door gently opened and it was her. Her white hair was up in a frizz, and her lipstick was way beyond the shape of her natural lip design by as much as an inch in some area’s. Her clothes were thin and tattered and she didn’t seem to have a care in the world as to any impression she might display.
She let us in as the two hour unexpected tour began. There in the kitchen was garbage and trash piled and a small path that lead to each room. Full to the max with trash, furniture, musical instruments, boxes, news papers and magazines, cat bowls and her bed room where she had a nest to sleep in. This is where she reads and wrote us a check for $2,500.00 as she sat on the edge in the middle of a pile of newspapers and magazines on top of her mattress. You could not see the bed for the trash unless you were creative in your imagination.
Each plastered wall was taken down to the bare wood studs without insulation and the exposed electrical wires were for all to see. The basement was damp with rotted cardboard and wood and there was a mold and mildew smell which hung in the stagnant air.
Throughout the tour she would comment that “someday I’m going to fix this room or that closet or piece of furniture” and the tour continued until we had brought in all the restored chairs.
It’s been two years and she has now come back to our shop with more stories of “someday”. Her latest is, “I’m going to have my house lifted and have a new basement installed for $40,000. I know the house and the run down neighborhood. I also believe that she has the money to do it, but it is a case of making a low priority a top priority which is a waste of energy and money at her age. I admit that it’s her business how she spends her money and what she decides to do with her fortune.
But, the thing I got from this exposure is the “someday factor”. Someday each of us will join a Heath club, or stop our habits that kill us, or we are going to mend a relationship with a family member who feels we wronged them. Or someday we’ll live for God as we have been taught to do through his word. Unfortunately time marches on like a determined tornado leaving a path of destruction and hurt. Jesus said, “Today is the day of salvation”, its not a someday option.
It’s like this, putting off what should be done today until “someday” sets the stage for a path through a world of trash. Prepare your heart today, on a moment by moment basis which will give you the restoration required to make you a better person before your maker which you too will meet “someday”.