For most of the 56 years I was married, my husband made my end tables. I’d often want to buy a new one, but he’d say he could make one a lot cheaper, and then when I got sick of it–which he knew I would–he would throw it away and make another.

My last request for end tables was toward the end of my husband’s life. I gave him specific instructions about what I wanted. I wanted two so that I could flank the couch. So not only did he make tables, he made lamps for the tables. He threaded electrical cord up the middle of two dowels, secured the dowels on bases and glued some of his rock collection on the bases. I bought white pleated lamp shades from K-Mart, and presto I had my tables and lamps to flank my couch for under $50.

The problem was that Marv had not followed my directions in making the tables. I’d wanted a large top, so I could place books alongside the lamp. No luck. There was no room. And, for whatever reason, he made very thin legs on the tables, so the tables were wobbly. When I pointed out that the tables were not what I expected, he suggested, with a smile, that I live with it. They were his creation and a work of art, or so he said. Indeed, the small tops consisted of wood blocks in the shape of pentagrams.

Some time after he died, the tables went into the garage. A guy here to buy something else was happy to take the lamp components too. I saved the rocks and lampshades.

Now, over four years later, I have rectified the table situation. Since I have no interest in spending big bucks on tables–Marv was right that I’m likely to change my mind again in the future–I started checking Facebook Marketplace. I wanted something different, and most photos were of conventional tables I’d passed up over the years.

Finally, one day last week, I saw a set of tables I liked. But I didn’t respond right away, and the next day they were gone. I felt sick. Then, as luck would have it, the tables appeared again the next day. I responded immediately and within two hours I had my new-to-me tables.

Then, of course, I needed lamps. The last ones I bought were for my bedroom and were from the Hotel Furniture Liquidators in town; I’d been able to update those lamp shades with the white pleated ones. But I thought I’d try a store first. And it was a good choice. I found a set of lamps for an amount I was willing to pay.

I am pleased! And I know that Marv would be happy, too, that I’m happy! Also, it all looks great against my newly painted greige wall.

Another time, I’ll tell you how I manage to move furniture by myself. I just say if there’s a will, there’s a way! Or shall I say if you have a few plastic jump ropes, anything is possible.