I will always love you… or possibly until trash day

In October I found wood shelves tossed out on the curb. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with them but finding real wood furniture always makes me happy (pressboard or particle board crap just isn’t the same). About 29″ tall and  33″ wide, they weren’t too heavy so I carried them home; I knew I could pass them on to someone else if I couldn’t find a use for them. Otherwise they were almost certainly going to the dump – trash day for that area was the next day – and any other passerby wouldn’t likely see their potential since they didn’t look like much at first glance.

The paint job, likely a stain, was uninspired.


Before I even brought the shelves home, the words on the back caught my attention and sealed the deal.


Now that was curious!  Who are Louisa and Joe and why were their – or his – shelves chucked out for trash? Does she no longer love him? For whatever reason, were they no longer together (if they once were)?

It happens that I know someone by the feminine name but she spells it differently and moreover the woman on the shelves wrote her last name too, which I’ve edited out of the photo for privacy. It was an unusual name and googling it got no hits, further compounding the puzzle. I wonder if it wasn’t either of these two people who threw the shelves out but someone else. Maybe Joe nor Louisa was still the owner? Those words are an unusual thing to write on nondescript shelves anyway. Shelves aren’t all that romantic.😕 Maybe she painted them for him? Or secretly wrote the words on the back for him to find? And when was this written anyway? It just raises a lot of questions, the sort that intrigue me.

Now that the shelves were mine, the first order of business was fresh paint. I decided I could use the shelves in my room, if only temporarily, so I used this green that’s close to a shade I have on half the walls. The shelves aren’t ideal here because they extend past the window but I found myself in need of a little extra clothes storage, at least between seasons, so these will do. Painted, they look like a completely different piece.


After I fixed up the shelves I found these interesting fabric bins at Dollar Tree. This setup may be temporary but for now it’s fine. And I will never paint over or otherwise change the words written on the back. In the end, I find the “secret” declaration of love, whether it lasted or not, kind of touching.


12 thoughts on “I will always love you… or possibly until trash day

  1. Becky Ross Michael

    Very intriguing! I think they were splitting up and Louisa was moving out. She left the message on the back of Joe’s furniture piece so that he would see it someday when he also moved away from that place. Darn it…wishing that I had thought of doing this!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh that’s good Becky! That would put a whole different spin on it, no? I have to admit I’d never think to leave a secret message on the back of furniture and if I did, it’d be a taped note ‘cuz I could never write on furniture!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. foguth

    When they were tiny, but knew how to write a few words, my kids wrote ‘property of ______” on the bottom of everything they could fit under (for instance, tables)…. Apparently, the older one saw a news report of someone stealing furniture and wanted to make sure “her furniture” was properly marked.
    BTW, my husband can’t pass up ‘real wood’ when found on the curb, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      That’s adorable! About the kids I mean. I remember wanting to “claim ownership” of things too when I was a child but not because of theft.

      Your husband is smart.😊 There may come a day when wood furniture is scarce or no more.


      1. foguth

        A couple years ago, he found a very old – and ornate oak desk on the curb – much of the ornate bits were gone…. He grabbed it, took the fru-fru off, sanded the wood and made a couple guitars (making guitars is one of his hobbies).
        I figure that since most of our furniture (also past projects of my husband) are solid wood, anyone trying to steal them would think they were nailed down … In other words, the kids didn’t need to worry about people running off with them 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Poor man’s woman ‘s breakfront | WriterInSoul

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