We spent most of the day today cleaning house. I should clarify. We spent most of the day today cleaning two rooms of this house. Those two rooms are larger than our house that burned.

I spent a lot of time organizing things in our bedroom. For astute readers, I should say now that Sophie, the dog, is like 56% of Dogs in America–she has bed privileges. She does not get to get up on the bed without permission but it is easy to get. We are both pushovers for warm furry bodies. As the two foots in the family have aged it is getting harder to get into bed. For my spouse and me, getting in and out is helped by the bed being higher. For poor Sophie, 21 inches tall compared to our towering 60-70 inches, raising the bed is a negative.

For 20 year we had a slipper bench at the foot of the bed. For Sophie, one step to the bench and one hop to the bed and mission accomplished.

We all  miss that bench. My spouse used it to put his suitcase on when he was packing to go on a trip. Sophie used it for stairs and I actually used it as a bench when I put my socks on. The colors were pleasing and the price, free, was totally right. A friend of my mom’s lost her job when a small business closed down, The owners felt bad aboutdog on foot of bed closing and as a small token to their employees they offered them the furniture in the office. My mom’s friend brought the bench home with her.

Because I loved the fabric on the bench, it ended up at our house and came to reside at the foot of our bed.

When we got a bed after the fire we realized we missed our bench. I purchased a storage ottoman for the foot of the bed. It would give Sophie that little boost between the floor and the bed and we would have a place to store our ever-growing stock of sheets and duvet covers.

The problems created by the ottoman were greater than the problems solved by the ottoman. Sophie would not use it as a half-way point from the floor to the bed like she did our bench at the now deceased house. As best I could figure out its cheap leatherette cover was slippery.

The crowning blow came during the bronchitis convalescence at our house. I was still reasonably well but my spouse was feeling wretched having awakened us both with his coughing. Like any good loving spouse would, I grabbed the hotpot I had stationed on my side of the bed and scurried toward his side to offer a cup of soothing tea. Problem was that the ottoman is a bit wider than the bench we had for two decades. I was moving quickly and literally launched myself over the corner of it. I was on the ground before I knew what happened. I do remember holding the hotpot up in the air, above my face that was firmly embedded in the 30 year old gold shag carpet. Lord, I did not want to spill anything on this carpet!

After gathering my wits just enough to stand up and proclaim proudly I did not spill anything I delivered the cup of tea and a soothing pat on the shoulder. A murmur of affection and all was forgotten. The sick one of us leaned back and fell into an exhausted sleep. I on the other hand, realized that my chin hurt like all get-out. I went into the bathroom and tried to see what damages there were. Like other parts of this house the bathroom is too dark to see anything in. I grabbed a flashlight and shone it upwards toward the bottom of my chin which seemed to be the location of the most pain. There was no blood but it was scraped and hurt. I took two acetaminophen and crawled back into bed. A few hours later when we both woke up my spouse was still sick and I hurt in places that had not hurt the night before. Age will do that to you. Smashing yourself on the floor when you are on the down side of mid-century is just not as alluring as it was then I was 25.

Survive, we both did. The ottoman does not seem as threatening now as we got through the bronchitis and my chin is recovering nicely from the leap across the bod.

Today I placed a not-as-nice bench that has a form factor similar to our old one. The ottoman is neatly packed with sheets and stored in a convenient place.

We are on a roll. Neither Sophie or I mind the cheapness of the new model. She can leap on it and I can avoid leaping over it.