As long as I can recall, my mother's den has housed a large antique armoire-an old, monumental piece of pine furniture stained a distinctive turquoise green. While I was home in Vancouver for a visit over the holidays, my mother moved to a house with a narrow staircase. To maneuver the armoire up the stairs, she sawed off its top half, leaving a long, rough cut along its midline. When my father, long separated from my mother, happened to stop by the new house, she breezily pointed the cut out to him.
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