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Carol Perkins: The Red Cabinet

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By Carol Perkins

When my sister-in-law was going to toss a piece of furniture, I asked if I could have it. Her husband, Arnold Berry, had made the stereo cabinet when he was young and before he became a master cabinet builder, as well as a farmer.

For years, the piece sat in my garage, backed into a corner, and, according to Guy, taking up space. I saw it as a future project.

During the pandemic, Guy dragged the piece outside and I set out to repurpose it. (I like that word.)

It was going to sit under my kitchen window on the patio and hold potted plants on top and garden tools underneath. After two days of sanding and painting, the dark red piece found its home.

I put flowers on the top, as well as an outdoor candle in a glass lemonade stand. We kept the bird feed in the house because of the raccoons. At least that was the plan until I forgot. This winter I slipped the birdseed inside the cabinet and found this idea much more convenient. However, it wasn't long until the signs of the returning raccoons were obvious: bird feed all over the patio, a planter knocked to the floor, and my pansies inside the planter scattered.

One day I wheeled out to the patio and noticed my red cabinet. "Guy," I turned to him, "what are those things on my cabinet?" He had screwed a slide lock, like you'd find in a public bathroom, from one door to the next, and then put a screen door hook and latch on the other door. "You have ruined my cabinet." I couldn't believe how tacky it looked. "Why didn't you just move the birdseed?"

"I wasn't going to be outdone," he said. "They can't get the feed now!" He was proud. I was puzzled. "You went to all that trouble, ruined this sixty-year-old cabinet, just to prove a point?"

"Worked, didn't it?" Besides, I can take those off and you won't know the difference." He knew what he said was not pacifying me. The battle between Guy and the raccoons never ends, but this time, he went too far.

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2022-03-25 13:38:24
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