• The Tale of the Wandering Wooden Box


    I “inherited” an old wooden footlocker from some friends when I helped them clean out their parent’s home before they put it up for sale in 2001.  This was a military family (Mom and Dad both served) and this footlocker had been through most of Europe during WWII and then in the basement of that house until we brought it out into the daylight.  I was so intrigued by it and I just kept thinking “I would love to hear the stories you could tell!” Needless to say, it went home with me that day.

    This box sat in my garage for quite a few years.  I used it to store “garage” things and it just kept getting moved from place to place. At one point I had a bunch of other cardboard boxes stacked on top of it and just forgot about it.

    One day around 2010 or so, I was looking for something to put in my living room that was low but could be used for storage and would look good. I suddenly remembered the wooden footlocker in my garage.  Could it be revived back to a functional life? How much would it take to make it presentable?

    I got out my shop vac and a heavy brush and started cleaning up the box.  I took the old wheels off (no idea where they had been) and put new, clean ones on it.  (I saved the original wheels just in case someone wants to take it back to original one day).  This box would be perfect for my room.  I made a cushion to put on top so that it could be used as seating as well as storage.

    This box has served me well for the last 5 years.  I used it to store things I used on my patio but could not leave outside.  It is now storage for my three year-old granddaughter’s crayons, coloring books, stuffed animals, hats and anything else she can stuff in there.

    Late last year my niece who lives in Chicago told me that she had been looking on Craig’s List for a bench that she could use in her newly redecorated bedroom.  She is going with a French theme and wanted something wooden that she could also use for storage.  I immediately thought of the wooden box in my living room.  I sent her a picture of the box and she loved it. She said she could just change the cushion and it would be perfect for her needs. The box will be off on another adventure as soon as the weather gets nice enough for a road trip. . .

    What do you have in your house or garage that could be revived for a new life and adventure?  Is there a chair that has been in the family for a while and just needs some new fabric and a good cleaning? Do you have a chest or table that could be revamped into a new use?  I bet everyone reading this could come up with at least one thing that has great possibilities for the future.