LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS...
19 April 2005
...these are the years of our lives.
It was like doing a very, very shallow archaeological dig. This morning we began the final stages of preparation for our new Pergo floor. (Tomorrow! Tomorrow! It's coming tomorrow! It's only a day a-waaaay.) We had to remove the rug and all the layers beneath it.
To my surprise, the "diaper rash water" wasn't under the rug after all (I'm sure it had been on that floor at some point). Under the rug was a pad and under the pad was the indoor-outdoor carpeting we bought when we moved in here in 1973.
Under the indoor-outdoor carpet was a 30 year accumulation of dirt that had been ground into the many layers of carpet and, since I never had a Dyson with super suction, just continued to build up there.
At first I thought it was pieces of carpet backing still sticking to the floor, but on closer inspection (and not that very close either), it was just dirt. Black, black, very fine dirt, very firmly packed into the linoleum and looking like a real impossible task to loosen.
Walt started working on it with a broad knife and I started vacuuming and the initial big chunks of it came up easier than I feared. Kimba couldn't stand it and had to be in the middle of everything. I think of her as a sort of autistic dog. She never seems to pay any attention to you at all, just goes about her own business, but she's just always there with you no matter what you're doing.
Sheila, who is terrified of the vacuum cleaner, was out in the back yard pretending there was something very pressing that she had to tend to--not that she was afraid at all, of course.
At one point, some more folks from Home Depot came by to drop off the parts that they had forgotten when they delivered the flooring. Sheila took advantage of the confusion--and the open door--to escape. She was deliriously happy and not about to come back. I couldn't even drive to find her because the delivery van was blocking my car. I was hoping that she'd come back, like she did last time, but was about ready to go looking for her as soon as the deliverypersons left when someone came up the street, holding Sheila by her collar. Thank goodness her collar has her name and address on it. She was so very proud of herself and, of course, I had to give her a cookie for "coming back," even if it was with help!
When most of the big chunks had been removed, we put sopping wet towels on the floor to loosen the rest and then the last bit was just spraying and scrubbing each individual tile. Kimba, exhausted by her hours of supervising the work, even went to sleep on one of the soaking wet towels.
Walt did most of the work, but I managed to get down onto the floor and help. I can't kneel, and it's difficult to get up and down, but with the help of my trusty step stool, and a combination of sitting and "reclining," I was able to do my share.
Down there, up close and personal with the tiles, I found these odd circles...
I asked Walt if he knew what they were and he said they were rubber bands that had been under the rug for 20 years.
Rubber bands. Another archaeological discovery. That many rubber bands concentrated in one spot could only mean one thing--they were remnants of David's old newspaper delivery days. You had to be 10 to have a newspaper route, so even though David wanted one, it was Paul who began delivering The San Francisco Chronicle. Only Paul hated delivering newspapers and when David offered to do it, we decided to let Paul be the official "employee" but David would actually do the work and Paul would give him the money.
David delivered the Chronicle and later the Sacramento Bee for several years. In the early days, I often drove him on his route and enjoyed our morning times together, first sitting on the floor of the family room rubber-banding the newspapers, and then going out and delivering them.
And here were the archaeological remnants. There was a little nostalgic sadness when I cleaned away all the signs of those days.
Eventually we started to see real progress and it began to look like we were actually going to have the floor ready by the time they get here tomorrow after all.
Now I'm going to have to work really hard to keep the Pergo clean, which they tell me is a much easier job than rug on top of linoleum with 5 kids running through the house all the time.
Oh...and mid-day, there was a general call for help from Ashley, who is trying to find foster homes for 10 pit bull puppies at the animal shelter who are going to be put to sleep if they aren't removed from there.
I told her to put me at the bottom of her list, but if nobody else volunteered, I'd find a way to keep some or all of them.
Heck, the weather is nice and we now have a rug on our patio, so maybe I could just set up a pen out there!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Kimba, the job supervisor