Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Wood 'Cause I Could

After a summer jammed to the gunwales with lousy weather and even worse day-to-day news, this weekend has been a late season blessing for those of here in Levelland. And proving once again that timing is everything, the weather cleared on a weekend when at least 75% of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Cosmos could get together to soak up the sun (and any residual booze that might try to surreptitiously escape over the rim of the glass). It did so as well on a weekend when Suz was available to join Margaret and the Sisterhood at the beach.

I love my wife and daughter with all my heart. However I would be less than truthful (as would they I submit) I if did not say that occasionally less is more. Thus while I miss them when they are away I was not displeased to know that from the time I left the house yesterday morning for the office until some time late this afternoon, I was going to be "bachelor dude".

We have lived in the home where we presently live for approximately ten years. Someone, not me mind you, who knows the history of NTSG can speak accurately to the number of years the development to which our home belongs has been....well, developed. I have a vague recollection of being told when we were purchasing the home that it was built in the late '70's or early '80's. Then again, given the lack of attention that I pay (historically speaking) to conversations that are not about me, I might indeed be making all of that up. A whole-cloth creation as it were.

There is a long and boring back story involving our home and how we ended up buying it but the mercifully abridged version of it is this: we purchased it from its original owners who had really ended up (due to the death of the family's father) not living here as a family for more than a couple of years. When we bought it from the mother/widow the only one living here - and the only one who had been in the home apparently for close to a decade - was her adult son.

Our home was built in an era when the dominant theme in residential construction seemed to be to build homes with gorgeous hardwood floors and then cover the floors in wall-to-wall carpet. When we moved in here almost a decade ago, every room in the home - other than the kitchen - was carpeted. With the exception of the bedrooms upstairs, the color of choice (a/k/a "the color the builder got the best deal to have installed") was sea foam green. It was as if the interior design plan for the home was "endless wave" or some such thing.

As time has passed, we have eradicated the carpet from our home as we found it impossible to enjoy the look of the hardwood floors while they were under the sea. In fact, the last remaining vestige of the sea foam green carpet was on the staircase and in the upstairs foyer, which I had set my sights on eradicating whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Yesterday, the opportunity finally knocked and with hardwood having replaced carpet as the floor covering in our home, I heard it when it did. Upon arriving home from the office - and making a side trip to pick up Rosalita from the groomer - I went to work on removing it. From soup to nuts (an expression I must confess that I have never understood - perhaps because I have never considered those two food groups to represent the points equidistant from the middle of the food spectrum), removing all of the carpet and all of the residual hardware that holds it in place as well as giving the steps and the foyer a nice bath in Murphy's Oil Soap took slightly more than six hours. The project is not complete yet - as new trim will have to be put in on the staircase and the vertical parts of each riser shall need a fresh coat of paint - but everything but the detail stuff is completed. And if I do say so myself it looks mighty fine. As an added bonus, I finished what I had hoped to accomplish last night, cleaned up the work area and cleaned myself up just in time to catch the first pitch of the Yankees game from Seattle at 10:00 p.m. I only caught about an inning's worth of action as I fell asleep on the couch and I have yet to master the art of simultaneous viewing/sleeping (I gave up trying to learn how to sleep and drive at the same time shortly after flipping my mom's station wagon when I was in 11th grade) and, in the end, sleep always prevails.

We have a house full of animals - all of whom went to bed last night convinced that I am plotting to kill them, having now stripped away more of the floor covering they have come to depend upon for braking (when chasing each other around the house) and rolling around upon (when just screwing around with each other). It was a particularly trying day for Rosie - who arrived home from the groomer only to discover that two of her favorite humans were nowhere to be found and that more of the soft carpet she digs so much was gone as well. She spent most of yesterday afternoon and last evening giving me the side eye.....

Before finally retiring to the den and falling asleep in the absurdly overpriced dog bed we bought for her last year, which she rarely ever uses. Maybe now she will use it regularly - having seen what happens 'round here to other plush, carpeted surfaces and not wanting to end up having to sleep at night on a plywood sheet.

-AK

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