Today, we bid adieu to our old couch. Seventeen years and three states. We bought the couch for my first apartment in Chicago in 1998. It was a Jennifer Convertible sleeper sofa, in a cream-ish weave. I think it was my very first piece of furniture and I was very excited. I had guests on that couch, including Lambeth and Mrs. Lambeth, Aunt Banana, and, later, Goo. I don't remember the couch much in NYC, though I must have sat on it to work on my dissertation, pet our cat Morgan, and watch coverage of the tragic events of September 11. It was in Connecticut that the couch came into the real center of daily life: I slept on it for months partially reclining in an upstairs room when I was pregnant, unable to get comfortable in a bed fully horizontal and then spent the next 10 years with the kids on that couch. We changed their diapers on it, held them when they were sick, read stories. fell asleep holding them. Later, they'd sit on the couch and, more than once left markers uncovered, which stained the cushions--yellow, brown, blue. By today, none of the cushions could be flipped over because of the stains. Our cats Albus and Hermione also liked to use the edges of the couch for some scratching, though never as much as they could have. In the last six months, it's really shown the wear, especially as I sat on it recovering from surgery. There are water marks from where I'd put my drink down, condensing on the fabric, and tears in the weave where I'd rest my shoes. It has been my favorite place to sit for a long time, curled in one corner or the other, leaning against the arm. I've had dozens of wonderful naps on that couch; more recently, I've been sharing it with Sis, who sits on the opposite end, oftentimes, curled up behind my knees if I'm reclining (our new cats Mr. P and Mojo spent a lot of time in the beginning in that exact same place.) Today when we stripped the sleeper bed, there were so many crumbs and dust, though no exotic finds--not even one of Bud's socks (probably because he preferred the loveseat.) It was so clear that the couch had passed its glory days. And, though it is gone (to the dump, no less--no one wants a 17-year-old sleeper sofa), we have found memories of almost two decades with it.