Birdie thought rearranging furniture was like that story about delivering a goose, a bag of corn, and a fox to the other side of the river. Which piece of furniture should you move first? Where should you set the ones you need out of the way in order to move the ones you’re moving? Would the traffic flow work? Would the room look comfortable and balanced? What if she measured wrong, and things didn’t fit, or the bag of corn was so big and heavy it sank the boat? Would the goose swim away? Would the fox eat the goose when she wasn’t looking?
Birdie hefted the bag of corn onto her shoulder, threw away the magazines she had been collecting for years, and with Lexy’s help, manhandled the big red bookcase out onto the front porch to await relocation to one of Gerald’s many outbuildings. That was the point of no return, because if you move the big red bookcase out to the front porch, you have made a committment.
Then she began wrestling with the vision of putting two twin beds in the office/soon -to-be-guest room. Birdie measured from this wall and then from that wall. She went upstairs and re-measured the length and width of the beds, and came back to the new guest room, measured again, marking the floor with tape. There was too much furniture and not enough floor or wall. It worked out fine if you didn’t mind walking across the beds to get from one side of the room to the other. Too bad. Too late. The goose was in the boat.
When Gerald came home that evening, it was already dark, and he missed the enormous red fox, uh…red bookcase, on the front porch, so while building a fire in the wood stove, he reached for the fire striker that should have been on the top shelf of the big red bookcase, but it wasn’t there. Neither was the bookcase.
“What happened?” asked Gerald.
“I’ve been moving furniture,” replied Birdie.
“The bookcase is gone,” said Gerald, stating the obvious.