100 Years of Paint & Other Love Stories

I listen to a lot of music. Most of the songs are about love– finding it or losing it. A few blur the lines and talk about stuff that goes on in the dark, but most are love stories.

This old headboard is one such story.


A long time ago in a city far, far away (before the interstate), I lived in an old, old house near LSU. The houses in my ‘hood were built in the 10’s and 20’s around 100 years ago with lumber milled from the cypress swamp that became the lakes.

One weekend, my mom came to visit and we took a stroll down the shady street. A neighbor was doing a renovation and had foolishly put two solid wood doors out for the trash.

MOM: “That’s good stuff. Those doors are SOLID.”

ME: (looking at the sky, the cracked sidewalk, anywhere but the pile of ‘good stuff’) Mmmm.

MOM: “They’re just throwing those away. Laura, take those doors back to your house.”

ME: “Real, solid wood is HEAVY.”

I spoke to the air, because she was dragging the doors out of the nail-studded boards, dust sheet-rock and other detritus in the pile.

Countless times I’ve moved those doors in the last 20 years. At some point they wound up in the barn. And I wound up on Pintrest.

Now one of those doors is my son’s headboard, fashioned by my literal blood, sweat and tears (paint remover stings like an acid bath.) Where ever he may go in life, he will lay his head next to a piece of wood grown in his home state. A part of me will always be there to watch and guard over him; keep him safe.

In this throwaway world, it’s easy to overlook that which endures.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7

About Laura Alford, PhD

I'm a recent graduate of LSU (PhD in Accounting). In addition to academic research, I also write fiction on Tuesday nights with the Asilomar Writers.
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1 Response to 100 Years of Paint & Other Love Stories

  1. Wow, Laura, I love what you did! My husband is a salvage buy (also a boarder line hoarder) but I love when he re-purposes things. Well done!

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