When we bought the house the kitchen didn’t look like this.
Not even close.
There was blue bird wallpaper and dark cabinets and a reproduction stove attached to the chimney with a pipe and a wall where the opening over the sink is.
And the floors were a honey colored laminate flooring.
I had a vision and a design and a purpose….
….and I was married to a pair of twinkling eyes with really big muscles.
Our first step was to clear everything out of the kitchen and pull up the laminate flooring.
It looked like it would come up easily.
It looked like it would only take an afternoon.
Piece of cake, we thought.
I remember leaving for WalMart and telling my husband I’d be back with gas station pizza to celebrate our new old wood floors.
And we were right.
The floor came up easily. No problem. He just lifted the planks of laminate and it only took him an afternoon.
Except we discovered that there was indoor carpeting under the laminate.
Indoor/outdoor carpeting was no match for us.
So we spent another afternoon pulling up carpeting in search of our wood floors.
Except they didn’t show up.
Instead, we discovered another old parquet floor tile floor under the carpet.
And under the parquet floor was another layer of indoor/outdoor carpeting.
And then finally there it was.
The original pine flooring.
In the rest of the house, the pine was pretty well intact.
But in the kitchen? It didn’t look good. It was scarred and dented and knicked and damaged from years of use.
I remember the flooring guys who arrived to sand and stain the floor simply standing and staring at it in dismay.
They stared at me with questioning looks and asked me if I really wanted it sanded and stained.
Was I sure?
Didn’t I see all the imperfections?
Like the places in the old floor where the ashes from the stove had fallen and made burn marks on the wood.
And the scrapes across the surface from dragging wood into the kitchen.
And the marks and indentations in the surface of the wood.
Wouldn’t I rather just have new floors, they asked me?
New floors would be so much better, they said.
I was resolute.
I was steadfast.
I was determined.
I told them I wanted to leave the floors.
Where they saw dings and dents, I saw stories and history and a floor with a life well-lived.
And so they sanded and stained those old floors and left them just as they were when they peeked out at me under a layer of carpeting.
And I’m so glad they did.
The floors anchor the house and the kitchen and show off its character and make me want to reassure my floor everyday that I love it just like it is….
….because I’m not perfect either.
When the light hits just right and shines across the surface right next to the dings and the dents and the burn marks from long ago suppers, you can see the tiny marks our dogs’ claws make on the surface of the floor.
It’s simply our entry into the floor’s story. 🙂