Eventually MIL needed more assistance than was available in the retirement home and right after her 90th birthday, she moved to Tennessee to an assisted living facility near her daughter. Hubby and I shipped the armoire at a cost of $450. Sis-in-law spent another 3000 or so having it professionally refinished, and it found a home in MIL's room at the assisted living facility.
A year or so later, MIL died, and SIL decided that she didn't need the armoire, and found a moving company to bring it back to us at a cost of $1400. This brings the cost of the "freebie" up to around $5000 if you throw in the cost of the original can of mahogany stain. Of course, since we are hoping to sell our house and move to Texas, we are not only going to have to pay to move it yet again, but also pay the difference between the cost of a house with 8 foot ceilings and a house with taller ceilings, because the armoire is 8 and a half feet tall.
The sensible thing to do would be sell it, but hubby has loved it since he was a child and isn't going to part with it. The second most sensible thing to do would be retrofit it as a TV armoire or bar or entertainment center, but hubby won't do that, either, because that would destroy its monetary value, although how something you are never going to sell can be said to have monetary value is a mystery to me. So at the moment it sits in our living room, taking up wall space, holding Christmas decorations, and looking pretty.
So I have taken to calling it the Precious, as Gollum called Sauron's ring in the LOTR. It's hard to get rid of, and it can actually make you disappear since it's big enough to stand in. I have to admit, it's starting to grow on me. Isn't that a bad sign?