Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grandpa's Bassinet

This past winter, being that it was my first spent in Minnesota, brought about a multitude of challenges. One such challenge that was almost a daily occurence was getting my car up the driveway and into the garage. This may be a simple task anywhere else in the world, but on a sloped ice covered driveway with a sharp turn into the garage, not so much. So when the image of me trying to haul Little Miss Deutsch and a diaper bag up from the bottom of an icy driveway that my car could not get up come mid January flashed in my head, we decided it was time to clean out the OTHER two car garage that is closer to the house and easier for me to pull into.

This, however, was no simple task. Like most garages, there was hardly any space to move in this one and there wasn't even a car parked in it. With an empty dumpster and a couple ladders, we got to work. Since the garage has been a storage space for Eric's parents since the 80's, you can only imagine what we found. Most of the items were tossed without hesitation (think boxes of moldy stuffed animals and comforters) but there were some pretty neat things that we came across as well. Amidst the several mice skeletons, we dusted off a box of Eric's parent's wedding invitations in perfect condition, a few pictures from the 1970's, and the bassinet that Eric's dad and his siblings slept in as babies.

The bassinet was in pretty rough shape but with a little one on the way, we got a little nostalgic. There is no amount of bleach that would justify putting a child to sleep in this thing, but we thought, cleaned up, it would make a perfect place for blankets and toys. And when Little Miss Deutsch is old enough, she might like the idea of having Grandpa's Bassinet as part of her room.

In order to salvage the bassinet, we had to have a plan of attack. First step- a soap bath. Using a plastic knife, a few wash clothes, and a bucket of suds, I cleaned this sucker down to every last nook and cranny. Since it was missing one of the wheels, we decided to pop off the remaining three and replace them with small wooden balls with some felt glued onto the bottom. Next, we sanded it down to the bare wood. This was not very easy. I have the blisters to prove it. Apparently, sanding was not something this bassinet has seen before. Instead, there were about 4 layers of paint in varying shades, one on top of the other. After the sanding, Eric rolled out the power washer (side note-super easy to get out of the garage now that it is so clean) and went to town on the bassinet. After a thorough bleaching, another light sanding to smooth out the rough spots and a few coats of white spray paint, it is complete. It is the first piece of furniture we have in the nursery so far and we love how it turned out. Hopefully it can stay in good enough shape that one day it can get passed down as Great Grandpa's Bassinet.
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