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Chester Drawers: More fun on Craigslist

Y’all know how much I love Craigslist — the website where you can click your way across the country in search of used stuff, finding everything from hookahs to hookers, often right there in your own hometown.

In recent months, I’ve navigated its blue hyperlinked byways a lot. I’ve fallen into a few of its potholes, such as houses listed for rent that really aren’t, but I’ve also met with success. It’s where we found our temporary trailer in Arizona, home for a month, and our mansion basement in North Carolina, home for another.

It was through Craigslist that my sister bought me four lamps to brighten up my “man cave,” the ones by whose light I am writing this post, which, by now, is a few days old.

By the time you read this, Ace and I will have been to Baltimore, reclaimed my life’s possessions from my storage unit and be headed back to move it all into my new place — the small, two-bedroom apartment unit my parents lived in, almost 57 1/2 years ago, when I was born.

Reuniting with my stuff, after 11 months apart, is something I both dread and look forward to. I don’t cherish the idea of packing and hauling and unpacking, especially considering, the last time I dropped in, my stuff was all peppered with mouse poop.

But I look forward to locating, I hope, a few needed things, and, more than that, reminding myself exactly what I have. Not to mention. I’ll get a chance to see some old friends, who don’t live in my storage unit, and reunite with my cardboard girlfriend, who does.

I placed everything in storage — she, who I rescued from a Dumpster, included — at the outset of our travels. I’ve paid $90 a month for it all to have a home — money we’ll now be able to spend on something more exciting, like utilities.

But as I try to decorate my new, unfurnished place in my mind,  I find I can’t remember exactly what I have. I know I left some things — the heaviest ones — with the young couple that moved into the rowhouse I was leaving. I know I’ve loaned/given some stuff to friends, but I no longer remember either what it was, or whether it was loaned or given. I don’t think I have a coffee table anymore, or bookshelves, or my TV stand/entertainment center

I know that much of my stuff — it also having been pulled from Dumpsters — is probably not worth hauling in the first place, and won’t fit anywhere once it gets here. But the bigger concern is that I have no handle on what I have, meaning I have no handle on what I need.

I was certain, though, that I didn’t have a dining room table, and my new place has an entire room dedicated to dining. So I turned to Craigslist.

I came across an oak pedestal table offered by a guy named Woody, who lived in Woodleaf. Then I found a maple-looking table and three chairs right here in town, offered by Mr. and Mrs. Sapp, whose home I went by to pick it up.

All my time on Craigslist has led me to discover some interesting regional variances, depending on the town you are virtually visiting.

In Texas, for instance, some rancher might be trying to get rid of his surplus Bob Wire. It’s not unusual, across the country, to find baker’s racks or porch furniture that are made of Rod Iron.

And in North Carolina, and other locations southern and/or rural, you’ll find Chester Drawers.

I’d never heard of Chester Drawers, but a lot of people seemed to be offering them for sale on Craigslist. Initially, I thought Chester Drawers might be like Franklin Desks, an item of furniture named after the person or company who first built or inspired them.

Not until I repeated the term three times in my head did I realize it was malapropism/colloquialism.

I’m not making fun of malapropisms, for I quite love them — from “oldtimers disease” to “a blessing in the skies” to, my favorite, “a new leash on life.” They add some character to our language and our culture, both of which can get so dry over time that we take them for granite.

I’m not badmouthing Craigslist, either — even though its fraught with scammers and helped kill newspapers, the industry in which I made my living.

Nor am I poking fun at the south — even though some people here pronounce my dog’s name “Ice.” I am a piece of it, and it is a piece of me. I was conceived here (more on that later) born here, schooled here and just maybe it’s where I belong.

Or not. I don’t know yet. All these things, I’m sure, will become clear over time, just as all my stuff will find a proper place, at which time I will no longer be so discombobulated. Give me a month and, I promise, I will be combobulated.

Now, though, I need to find the key to my storage unit lock.

Last time I saw it, it was in my Chester Drawers.


Comment from Kelly
Time April 12, 2011 at 7:27 am

I’m keeping the cowboy hat. It worked well for me this past winter! Good luck in the new digs, hon. Come back & visit when you can. We’ll be missing you & Ace.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time April 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

We will surely miss you and Ace in Baltimore, but going full circle has a lot of appeal. And we’ll be able to keep up with all your doings via the blog. As far as malapropisms go, always remember that immortal classic by Three Dog Night: There is a bathroom on the right.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time April 13, 2011 at 12:13 am

Three Dog Night? I’m so clever. I mean those other guys…whoever they were…

Comment from mike
Time April 14, 2011 at 10:51 am

John – youre TV entertainment stand is still in the basement….its urs if you want it
– Mike

Comment from jwoestendiek
Time April 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Mike, Nooooooooo! I’m not moving anything else. Thanks for the info, though.

Comment from Anonymous
Time October 28, 2011 at 11:54 am

I just found Chester Drawers in an auction listing. I am not putting my name for the protection of me (the innocent). I’m in southeastern Indiana (rural).

Comment from Klawdya
Time March 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I, too, am amused by the many “chester drawers” for sale on craigslist. I’ve also seen a lot of “rod iron” items.

Comment from todays chuckle
Time May 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm

even more hysterical

Comment from John
Time August 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm

“Sender Blocks”

My favorite.

Comment from Anonymous
Time November 15, 2012 at 4:06 am

“…taken for granite.” Are you joking? Perfect example.

Comment from jwoestendiek
Time November 15, 2012 at 7:00 am

Of quartz I was joking.

John / ohmidog!

Comment from Renee
Time February 4, 2013 at 7:59 am

I too just encountered a chester drawers for sale. I googled it. LOL!! I can beat that. Last week I saw “ten a shoes” for sale on Facebook!