Archive for the ‘magic carpet’ Category

Once my husband started ordering from infomercials there was no stopping. To his credit, he watched many more—to the bitter end—than he responded to. My shelves, though, are testament to the fact that he did respond on more than one occasion. On many birthdays and Christmases I’d unwrap a gift I knew well from hearing the excited users on TV. So I would be excited and reluctant all at the same time. After all, Jerry had pictured me using these marvels of science, and I had to follow through.

I’m not sure which was the gateway drug, but probably the “storage system” complete with containers and a turntable. Never search for the right container for your leftovers again, nor the lids. Just spin and you would find them. Ha! So I put them to the test. That was years ago. They are still up there making each day easier exactly as advertised.

Surely the GTX-press Jerry ordered next would not live up to its billing: quick, perfect eggs, leftovers wrapped in a tortilla and made into a healthful dinner, angel food cake with fruit in the middle, etc. all in about three to seven minutes. Come on! How often would I drag out an appliance to do one of these things anyway? A lot! Again, except for the propensity for the Teflon to peel a bit, it was perfect and is indispensable in my kitchen.

Jerry also responded to fantastic promises in catalogs. We all know flower catalogs should be sued for false advertising, but after years of restraining himself, Jerry ordered a “carpet of flowers.” When it arrived he cut a small portion to test and followed directions to the T. Did we have a carpet of flowers? Yes and no. A few varieties came up, but most vigorous was the verbena. It eventually made a verbena carpet and we loved it. Verbena was my mother’s favorite flower, so we always knew she had orchestrated its insidious march through our garden.

Walk though my house and you’ll see item after item you’ve seen in catalogs: Galileo’s temperature gauge, little German boy and girl that pop out and foretell the weather, elegant, domed barometer, solar waterfalls, gargoyle cats, and the list goes on and on. I treasure them all.

Did I ever call a halt to a purchase? Yes, yes I did. Twice. For a Lifestyle neck lift and a “slimmer” undergarment. Jerry was genuinely puzzled with my attitude—and I did have an attitude. Those are the two times I said, “BUT WAIT!”

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rug20014There really are magic carpets. Believe it. I am sitting secure in a modest home on over an acre thanks to one magic carpet.

 The family room in our rented home in Virginia was huge, long and wide, and the floor was tile.  The wonderful, wool, Karastan Oriental rug we added to warm it up was about 15’ x 30’ and left little tile exposed. The babies could crawl and play and spill and drop crumbs – or pacifiers – and they all disappeared.  Our family did a lot of living in six year on that rug, so we were in a dilemma when we went to move and were offered $1,000 by the prospective purchaser of the house. As a matter of fact, he told the owners he would buy the house only if we sold him the rug.  It hurt to let it go, but I had visions of another rug, one belonging to my mother-in-law.  She unrolled it from behind her sofa after years of storing it there. Moths filled the air and holes filled her precious rug.  We knew we were not likely to soon have room the size of that one, so we did what was prudent. And it was prudent. $1,000 was exactly what we needed to purchase our own home in South Carolina and break the rental cycle.

 We sold that home four years later for a move to Florida and with the increased value, were able to “buy up” in the home we have lived in now for almost thirty-three years. So I have a fractured motto: If you love something let it go; if it is yours, it will return a hefty profit. Our beautiful rug has returned its investment 200 times over.


christmas08-008 Barely a footnote after that rug tale, but special to me is a small, wool, Bokara Oriental rug from Pakistan. My husband crafted furniture and hand hooked rugs (tangible pieces of him to hand down to the children). My talents produced nothing worthy of inheritance, so I am thrilled to have one small rug to hand down. They will have to draw straws for it, though. This rug has increased in value, too, no doubt, but more important is the story that accompanies it.

 A radio station in Roanoke, Virginia was giving away one rug worth $275 in the sixties to the person with the most convincing reason for wanting to win it – in twenty-five words or less. I worked so hard and was the single winner out of over 500 entries. This is the winning statement.

 With wrinkling face and doubling chin my current stage,

I’d like to own just one rare thing that grows more beautiful with age.

 That’s it. I tried to zero in on a salient point, and Oriental rugs had a claim to fame rarely matched — that “more beautiful with age” thing. I can only hope that holds true after the rug survived soot from a house fire and more hairballs and drink spills than I can count. It is still a favorite of mine. Not quite magic, but magical when I remember the odds against it gracing my living room for so many years.

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