The art of picture hanging

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We’re moving—from the cold and snowy prairies to a brand new condo on Vancouver Island with ocean and mountain views. It doesn’t get much better than that.

For weeks, we pack and cull, have a garage sale and haul truckloads of stuff to Goodwill. We decide to take the antiques and heirlooms with us. We’ll sell everything else and buy new—like newlyweds, but with more money and better taste.

“We’ll take our time buying new stuff,” I tell my husband.

We arrive Monday, pick up a new mattress and box spring, get the keys and move in. At least we’ve got some clothes and a bed to sleep on.

On Tuesday our furniture (what little there is) and boxes arrive. We now have two folding lawn chairs to sit on.

On Wednesday our new appliances arrive and are installed.

On Thursday we’re off for groceries. “Let’s stop at those two furniture stores we saw in town first,” I say. “Just to look.”

An hour later we have bought a sofa and chair, a dining room table and chairs, a television and stand.…

On Friday, our sofa bed arrives for the guest room just as the guests—good friends coming to help us settle in—are buzzing up. P and my husband spend Saturday putting together the weight set. C and I make several runs into town buying an assortment of smaller items like end tables, shelving units, etc. Then we tackle hanging pictures. We start with the arrangement you see in the picture above.

We hang the clock and the two rectangular pictures first leaving the long horizontal one for last.

“I’d like to square it off on the right,” I say, “but if we try for that we’ll be off.” I’ve had enough experience to know it will never come out right. “So let’s center it.”

C and I measure, and measure again, and again. We decide we have the right spot, pound in the nail, hang the picture, and stand back to admire our work. We burst out laughing. The picture is exactly aligned on the right with the one above. “Told you we couldn’t do it if we tried,” I say and no, our husbands can’t quite figure out what’s so funny.

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