Friday, November 7, 2014

The Shelving is Failing Again

It's happening again, folks. No, I don't mean the country going to hell in a handbasket, I mean my office. What with company all summer in the attic guest room and the consequent relocation of bushel baskets full of mysterious stuff, my poor office kind of turned into what they used to call in the British cozy whodunits the lumber room. Not like the lumber they have in the lumberyard, but stuff. At least I have it separated into logical piles: genealogical stuff, writing career stuff (alas, a dwindling pile), stuff from the past—my past, various family members' pasts—stuff you can use to make movies, since I always planned to make a movie sometime, other stuff that might come in handy any day now. My mother's old immigration documents. The video camera before last. My tenth grade report card. All stories for another day.

Because the story for today is the sad story of my little office, and how the final thing happened that makes it useless as an office until I change all the furniture around again. While I was sitting at the polls on Tuesday Harold got in there to winterize my office window. While there he noticed that the bracket supports holding up the Great Bookshelves are pulling away from the wall. Little powdery crumbs of plaster are dribbling out of the screw holes.

You will recall (or not) that last spring—I think it was last spring—the shelves where I put all my sewing manuals, thread, and little boxes of sewing tools took a dive into the middle of the sewing area of the attic. The gremlins of shelving, having trashed the attic, are now at work on my office. At any moment the whole thing could come down with a terrible crash. This time I'll be looking out for it, so when the crash comes I can begin to pick up the pieces, instead of ignoring it in the belief that the racket was caused by our neighbor hitting the sauce again.

But, no! The shelves shall not fall. This time I vow be proactive. Harold suggested that I take everything off the sagging shelves and put it in cardboard boxes until we figure out something else. A good first step, I thought, but, since I hate cardboard boxes, a better first step would be to go online and order new shelving, something that will stand up by itself without having to be screwed by my incompetent hands to the wavy plaster of the wall.

So I did this. Today the delivery man left two tall packages marked "heavy" on the front porch. Harold carried them indoors, but not upstairs, since several days of prep work on the office will be required before it's time to unpack the new shelves.

Onward and upward! As for writing anything, it may be awhile. If you're doing NaNoWriMo, strength to your arm. I'm looking at, oh, I don't know, some time after New Year's before I can sit down in my office and put finger to keyboard. Because there's also the matter of replacing the desk and dealing with the stuff all over the floor.

© 2014 Kate Gallison


  1. We were visited recently by a childhood friend of my husband's who is an architect. He always tactfully asks when we're going to get attractive shelving for our books. We use canning shelves and Bob bolts them into the wall so if I stumble and grab one, terrible things won't happen. I guess it would be fitting if I died under a shower of books, but I have so many yet to read.
    We tried to find more canning shelves a few years ago and the only ones we could find needed to be imported from Canada.
    Good luck to you Kate, in turning chaos into less chaos.

  2. Wow! I'm exhausted just reading this! Why don't you just rent a room at the local Motel 6 til Harold can put up the fancy new shelving??? P.S. Would Harold have a moment to come up and fix the junk piles in my office?? I'd love to be able to see the light of day once more!!! With all the PR re the rat population in NYC I'm scared they will find a home in my room!! tjs

  3. Hate to tell you this, Thelma, but this is my project and I'm going to have to take care of it myself. Ours is not one of those honeydew marriages (honey do this, honey do that) but rather a union of two old stumps bumbling along together, like toddlers engaged in parallel play. Anyway his back is in even worse shape than mine.

  4. I howled out loud when I read this! Honeydew marriage! You are TOO MUCH, Ms. Gallkison-Dunn or is it Dunn-Gallison!!! I'm not up on those titles! I will never ever see a honeydew melon again but also see this phrase!!! You could do a whole blog on that.... now, there's a thought.... tjstraw

  5. I have to take it back, though. He got busy when he came home from work and put the bookshelves together.

  6. Well, then, he deserves a whole pie for supper! tjs

  7. Kate, you win! Your office does have more paper and boxes on the floor than mine.

  8. The picture is not actually of my office, but one I stole from the internet. My office is much smaller, and has even more stuff on the floor. But the work is half done now. All that remains is to get rid of my old desk, which is too big for the room, and throw away twenty cubic feet of papers.