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Carol Perkins: The things we do for our children

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By Carol Perkins

When Carla's family moved into a new house, the one thing missing was a fireplace (although she seldom used her former one she indicated she wished she had one). I remembered seeing a mantle in a relative's yard sale and called to see if she still had it. "Yes, and I'd love for you to come and get it!" She didn't have to say that twice!

What the mantle needed was something to go behind the opening where the fireplace would normally be, so I found the perfect solution. With a piece of plywood and some imagination, I could create a background with tile. As I was stewing over how much trouble and expense that would be, I devised a better plan. I went on the hunt for a piece of large foam board. Through a friend on social media, I found the right piece. (Regular craft stores don't sell pieces that large.) Then I ordered a roll of peel and stick wallpaper that looked just like bricks.

With the beautiful mantle and the marble hearth, the foam board, the roll of wallpaper, we headed to Chapel Hill, TN to set all this up while she and her husband were at work.

Our only problem, we thought, would be the dog, Irish, who is extremely hyper. However, she nosed around what we were doing, licked Guy's face as he bent over his tools, and then lay on the couch to watch.

Guy needed to anchor the mantle so he planned to attach two pieces of boards to the wall and then nail the mantle down. His planks were too large and he hadn't brought his saw. While he was in the garage whittling off the excess wood with a screwdriver and a hammer, I was peeling off the wallpaper and sticking it to the board. It was like a magnet; it suck to my arms and face. When I completed the job and positioned it to the back of the mantle to duct tape it, I realized I had turned the board the wrong way and papered the short end. Luckily, I had enough paper to redo the mess.

I was so frustrated that I yelled and stomped. Irish jumped off the couch, pointed at me, and barked. What a sensitive dog. Later, Carla told me he doesn't like raised voices.

After four hours, the mantle was the place, the TV on top of it, the bricks behind, a box of wood with lights strung around them on the hearth, and the mess we made cleaned up. Now she has a "fireplace" to hang her stockings and drape a wreath on for Christmas. On the way home, we laughed about driving six total hours, back and forth, just for our baby girl who will always be just that! Is there anything we wouldn't do for our children or grandchildren?

Copies of Carol Perkins and Susan Chamber's book Edmonton (1940-2018) available on Amazon or at many places in Metcalfe County.

This story was posted on 2018-11-29 06:15:30
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The new mantle and fireplace

2018-11-29 - Chapel Hill, TN - Photo by Carol Perkins.
A photo of the completed "fireplace" project, ready for stockings.

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