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The Red Stool
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By Suzanne Leslie

I could see Dave my husband, coming across the street carrying a treasure he had found. It was so like him. You know the saying "One man's junk is another man's treasure."

Dave was quite the collector. I should have learned not to think out loud, just in case the object I mentioned should appear in the neighbour's spring clean-up.

I have been the recipient of many treasures in my lifetime - an old roasting pan rescued from the dumpsite, a discarded sewing machine, used books, dishes and the like, but the red stool has to be one of my most treasured possessions. Unlike the others, this has remained in our home.

The red paint was peeling and the bottom rung broken. It had two steps which pulled down, into a step-stool. I looked at Dave; he smiled and said, "I'll fix it. It's a great stool." He placed it just inside the kitchen.

Some time later I noticed that the girls would come and sit on its steps. Five year old Michelle took her place on the top, and her younger sister Jillian sat on the bottom step and rested her head against Michelle's knees. There the two would be whenever I had things to do in the kitchen. The sounds of their giggles and their girlish play filled the room.

As the girls grew older, school filled most of their time. The house remained silent until they burst through the door spilling over with the day's events. As I stood at the counter emptying their lunch bags, they'd slip in, sit on the red stool, and with as much enthusiasm as two little girls could muster, both would begin to tell me about their day. There were friends gained or lost, tears wiped away, and the joys of growing up shared. It was a precious time. The red stool held all the secrets of their hearts.

Now married with lives that are very different from those childhood days, the girls, when they visit, and dinner is being prepared will still slip around the corner to sit on the red stool. We talk, not about the childish things anymore, but we talk as women - women who have grown up in the security and love of the Lord and each other. Over the years we continue to share our deepest desires, hopes, dreams, triumphs and failures. We are bound together with chords of love that cannot be easily broken.

When the time came for renovations to be done in our home, I had thought of getting rid of the red stool, but it was put back in the kitchen like an old friend.

I have a 10 year old grandson now, named Ethan who comes to our home after school, I hear him drop his backpack on the floor in the front hall. I watch as he kicks off his shoes and picking up his football heads for the kitchen. As he pulls down the steps on the red stool he sits on the very top. I hear him say, "Hey Nana how's your day?" I look at him as he reaches for the apple on the counter. I tell him my day is just fine, and ask" what about yours?"

Tossing his football in the air, he tells me all about school and the things he did. I feel my emotions rise inside; I picture two little girls and I delight in the memory of those precious days. As Ethan grows up, I pray this will become a special place for him where we can talk, laugh and shed a tear or two.

The red stool has never been painted. I have thought about it, I have even gone so far as to get the primer out, but dipping my brush, I stop, and realize I can't do it. It is painted with memories.

I would never have dreamed that such a broken piece would become a much-loved treasure in my home. When I think on these things, I cannot help but smile, and as I do, I hear Dave say "Ill fix it, I it's a great stool" and I think I would have to agree.