Couch Burning Party

The saga of our new furniture continues.  You might remember that we ordered some a couple weeks ago….It was this!


We ordered a couch, loveseat and recliner.  The loveseat doesn’t have that counsel in the middle like it’s shown in the picture.  I’m a no eating in the living room girl so I didn’t want a counsel to promote any thoughts of eating there.

Well…as I told you, my couch broke so I had no furniture in the living except that broken couch.  If anyone sat on it, the couch would groan and creak.  It was making me nervous that company would come and sit on it and it would break.  That would be super embarrassing.

So it got so that I would grab a dining whenever anyone came and have them sit on it…I would sit on the couch.  Well that seemed a little rude-me offering them a hard chair while I sat on what appeared to be a comfy couch.

Then Kalissa tried calling Lansing Furniture, the place we ordered the furniture from, and explained our situation telling the sales lady her dad was given days to live and could it please somehow be expedited.  No luck.

So Kalissa said enough.  The day Karl got home she sent Karl and Buck into the living room.  She had them take my couch out and go to her house get her own couch and loveseat and put them in my living room.  She said she’d be here all the time anyway and she wanted visitors and all of us to be comfy.

Well that left the old couch.  Remember we have that hole that developed in our yard.  The plan has been to fill the hole and seed grass down.  It was suppose to happen this spring but…Kramer got sick.

So the boys put the couch in the hole for the time being thinking they’d burn it.  Kramer said no…it would make a mess.  I finally said…”Yep.  We’re burning it.  We met at a piano burning party.  We’re going out on a couch burning party.”  That’s the truth.

We did meet at a piano burning party.  We were young…Him 23 and me 19.  Another guy named Roger was having a party….it was the younger brother of a friend of his. Kramer was in a wedding that night.  He left the wedding early.  He had broken up with his fiance` the week before and wasn’t feeling very wedding festive.

I was at the party.  I came with my college roommate Lori.  She knew the friend of the other Roger who was having the party and got an invite through him.  We had come looking for something to do and people to hang out with.  The excitement of the party was that an old piano was getting burned.

Just before the piano went up in flames, a pick up pulled in and everyone yelled, “ROG!”.  A guy stepped out of the truck.  He said he saw people and remembered there was a party so he decided to stop.  He was wearing his tux pants, the bow tie, the cumberbun, and the tux jacket….no shirt.  Picture a Chippendales dancer.

I ended up meeting Kramer and the rest…well it’s history.

So…Thursday night a couch burning party happened to commemorate our start together.  (we’re allowed to burn in town)

Here’s the couch in the hole…..


…and here it is after the fire was going.

Some of the kids were outside.  It was too much for Kramer so we sat in the living, holding hands, both thankful for that night we met 34 years ago.


It sounds crazy…but burning a couch brought out a lot a sentiment and we were able to say a good good-bye before things deteriorated.


I was initially kind of frustrated that the couch decided to break just when we most needed a couch, but in reality, I think it was good timing.  As crazy as it seems, a couch burning party is just what Kramer and I needed to prompt some good conversation about our life together.

On a side note:
You might also remember that I said we were at Home Depot and I saw some pillows that I liked that might offer a pop a of color to the new couch….look what came in the mail!!  I adore them even more than ever.

When I opened the box we all got a big laugh.  Who would have thought two pillows could fit in this box.  Well they can if the bags are vacuum sealed shut.  

First a gift card from Roxie in Cresco Iowa to Home Depot so I could buy pillows…..

…and then a few days later,  Julie in FL sent me the actual pillows!!  How fun.

So…I have the pillows.  I’m going to get two more with the gift card.  Four pillows sounds nice….how crazy to have the pillows but not the furniture.

Thanks so much to Kalissa for borrowing her living furniture to us.  It’s been so needed as we hold vigil over Kramer.

41 thoughts on “Couch Burning Party

  1. Jess

    Jo and Family. I am so sorry you are going through this. You
    are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m glad Karl was able to make it back and your family is together.

  2. Candi

    Sounds like you really needed that couch burning party. Glad it brought good memories and allowed free and open talk.
    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  3. Laura

    I’ve come to hold your family dear, as you remind me of our small family and the recent illness of my Dad. He and Kramer seem to be cut from similar cloth. God bless you all, as your journey together continues.

  4. Ana Sweet

    I don’t have the words to properly send my thoughts. The couch burning was probably something your kids also needed to create even more togetherness. It is the small things that are so memorable. The first date, the first baby, the crazy family Christmas…

    Isn’t it amazing how we found our husbands? Mine was a blind date.

  5. Donna

    I have to admit I loved your story but was so touched when I read the paragraph about you and Roger just holding hands during your “party”.

    Funny story here. Our family was on the way to a homeschool convention in IN years ago. My middle daughter had fallen asleep during the drive. While driving through Indianapolis, we passed a factory that had a lot of smoke coming out of its stacks and one of the kids said they thought they were burning something (not sure what) and middle dd wakes up asking why the factory was burning couches. We kind of looked at her like Whaaaaa? It’s a standing joke in our family now when we see something on fire – they burn fields around here a lot.

    Blessings and love to you and yours

  6. Denise Briese

    Hard to put into words what you must be feeling and going through, you and kramer..must be so hard. You need to take care of you as well.

  7. Sally

    Oh gosh. It is so amazing how things evolve. Did you ever have any thought of burning the couch when it first broke? Even though Kramer said “don’t, it will be a mess”:you said, “yep, we are going to burn it….” and it was the “perfect”thing for your family. God sure works in mysterious ways. Another sweet Kramer story. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  8. Robby

    I wasn’t too sure about burning a couch, but I kept reading. Sometimes life brings symmetry to a situation that is just perfect. Thank goodness the couch broke in time to bring you this shared experience. May there be a few more moments of perfect surprises along the way.

  9. Debbie Myers

    What a great story of how you and Roger met! And how wonderful that you were able to sit and hold hands and talk at this very difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you gather and hold each other close. God bless you.

  10. Elle

    What a wonderful opportunity to share this story with your kids and make new memories with them and making the most of these moments for Kramer and yourself. Reliving this memory over the next few years will provide some joy and peace.

    God Bless you all and hold you in His hands each day as you are together in these precious moments.

  11. Lori Sparks Douglas

    So glad you came to the party with me! Love you both. Or in Kramerville …drive safety. We sure had so much fun back in the day. Remember Rog at your wedding…white tux and red farner’s hanky. You both are the salt of the earth type of people. Wonderful memories….old and new. Prayers for all. I wish you enough! (Poem)

  12. Kim LeMere

    Life, it takes us in a big circle and down some roads we would rather not travel but we do. Its full of surprises and blessings and hard times. I’m glad that Karl is home, that Kalissa borrowed you some furniture for the company that will come to say there goodbyes. Kramer family is in my prayers as you travel this highway of life taking a road you did not choose. Hugs Jo!

  13. Donna T

    What a brilliant and generous idea on Kalissa’s part. You have an amazing family Jo. Enjoyed your couch burning and how you met story. Praying for you and your family.

  14. Frances Welch

    You and Kramer are in my thoughts at all times I pray he has a good leaving and I know you are all taking strength from one another and your faith, sorry I can’t be with you but I live over the pond but I know God hears us all.
    Frances xx

  15. Linda Hodges

    I know exactly what you are going through and have had you and Kramer in my thoughts since the news of his cancer broke. I took my husband to hospital a month ago after a routine appointment with the doctor for what we thought was a chest infection. Little did we know that he would be dead within five days. Didn’t get a chance to say goodbye but am grateful to know that the last thing I did say to him was “I LOVE YOU”. We had his funeral two weeks ago And I don’t know what I would have done without my daughter. She has been a tower of strength as have your wonderful girls and boys. My heart goes out to you.

  16. Sheila

    What a great story! I can’t even imagine what all of you are going through right now, but it sounds like a bittersweet moment… on the one hand you have precious time left and that is difficult. On the other hand you are all together sharing your love and even creating memories. Continued prayers for all of you!

  17. Cathy

    The piano burning started a legacy…the couch burning continues a legacy with your kids.
    How special for you and Kramer to hold hands and reminisce.
    Continued prayers.

  18. Wendy P

    That special memory will be with you all forever. Keep making the memories – they are so precious. Family is so important. Hugs from Canada to you all at this time.

  19. Michelle

    I love this story. And have I mentioned that you have fantastic kids?

    Years ago, I was on the phone with a friend and mentioned that Bill was in the back yard burning our couches. Even after knowing us for so long, she still thought I was kidding because apparently in her world apparently people don’t do things like that. Or she’d never keep a couch long enough that the only option was burning it. Or something It’s been fifteen years and the new couches are worse than the old ones so I guess we’re almost due for another bonfire.

  20. Cindy in NC

    What a great story. I’m sure the memory will give you strength for the days ahead.

  21. Jody

    I read through my tears as I remember when I first met Kramer. Kinda stressful circumstances, remember? We were fugitives from the law hiding out at your new boyfriend’s house. He has taken such good care of you and what a wonderful father to your children. All successful and hard working in their fields and families. It is a great legacy. He loved all of us well and treated my kids like real people. We will always take an “Uncle Roger” nap when we need it and will always be here for you. We love you all!

  22. Liz A.

    What a wonderful story. I hope these memories will bring you some comfort in the days and weeks to come. I just saw a posting from Achen Farms that Kramer has lost his battle. He fought a victorious fight and I’m sure that he knew he was well loved. My heart goes out to you and your family. Keeping you all in my prayers.

  23. Jerroll Dale Huntington Jr (Jerry)

    My heart hurts for you today, I appreciate your story from the time you met and can only wish that there were more pages to be written. God had a different plan.
    I am proud to say that I am related to a family with such class! Much love to you all! ❤

  24. Cathy Odle

    Jo, I am so glad you had this evening with Kramer. Sharing your time together is so special. I am sorry for your loss and your families loss of a husband and father. You all will be in my prayers as you transition into this new chapter in you lives.

  25. Jerry

    My heart hurts for you today. I appreciate your story, only wish that there were more pages to be written.
    I am proud to say that I am related to a family with such class! Much love to all of you! ❤

  26. Linda K

    Jo and Kramer Gods Blessing on you and your family. Life doesn’t always take the turns we want, but it’s great to enjoy the ride.

  27. Sandra Davidson

    I love that you shared such an intimate story with us and that you and Kramer got a chance to say goodbye and have time to share the memories of your life together. Bless you both. Praying for you and your family at this both difficult and joyous time. Hugs Sandra

  28. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I’m so glad Karl made the choice to come home before school actually ended for him. The blessing of having them all there for the couch burning and being able for each to say goodbye in person if huge. You will all be in my prayers as you begin your new reality, surrounded by the love of God, family and friends.

  29. Colleen

    The couch burning, and Kalissa loaning her furniture has brought me to tears. It is the moments in these days together that will bring you even closer, and remain part of your memories and your hearts for years to come. Hugs and prayers for all.

  30. CHRISTINA MACKENZIE

    Sorry to hear of your loss. I have read some your blog and sit here with tears for you and your family. Saying goodbye is never easy nor is being alone afterwards. Remember to give yourself time to cry and love. Tears are griefs way of sharing your love and keeping it alive.

  31. Jo Post author

    Oh Linda I am so sorry. Life without husbands is sure going to be a change.

  32. Jo Post author

    Lori-you did the best things EVER by taking me to that party!! I can’t thank you enough.

  33. Pingback: Saturday Filled with Friends | Jo's Country Junction

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