FRAZIER: I’ve started stripping, and I want to stop

Published 4:00 am Saturday, November 20, 2021

I swore I would never strip again.

But somehow, I let myself fall into the trap of taking it all off.

The first time I ever stripped, I was barely out of my 20s. I had just moved back to Vicksburg and was living in an apartment. My oldest was just a toddler at the time, which meant I had to strip around her nap times.

Boy, that was a challenge. Day after day, I would leave out to go strip awhile and then return as soon as I thought she would wake from her nap.

If done right, the process of stripping requires a slow, methodical approach. But unfortunately, there were times I was impatient and anxious that my daughter would wake before I was done with the nasty job. On these occasions, I always regretted my actions.

Trying to expose too much at one time is never good.

I remembered this lesson a couple of weeks ago, but only after I had been stripping every weekend for more than a month.

I was on the fifth of eight chairs when I remembered that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to refinishing furniture.

During my adult life, I have spent many hours on “Do-It-Yourself,” or DIY, projects, some because I enjoyed creating and others because I didn’t have the funds to purchase store-bought.

My sister-in-law and I were talking the other day and we were recalling the year we trekked out into the woods to cut evergreens. As young wives and mothers, money was tight. However, that did not deter our dreams of decorating our homes for the Christmas holidays.

With a few Styrofoam forms, clippers, floral wire, and of course, the fresh greenery, we rigged up some beautiful wreaths.

Our hands paid a hefty price, but we didn’t care. We had managed to replicate what we had seen in all the latest home and garden magazines.

Getting exactly what you want is not always possible, but sometimes with a little bit of sweat equity, you can come pretty close. Admittedly, it would have been nice to have gone into an antique shop and bought chairs ready for the dining room.

But that was not in the budget, so I did the next best thing and stripped them down to the original wood.

Oh, and my first stripping job — it was an antique mantle. My grandparents had one in their home that my grandfather had refinished. I had always admired it, so he found me one to do the same.

I have learned a lot from the first time I stripped.

I uncovered the knowledge that DIY projects can reveal a satisfaction that only comes with a little elbow grease.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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