They are predicting snow AGAIN! No, this isn't an old post that you clicked on by accident and no, it's not Groundhog Day, although I do feel a bit like Bill Murray who keeps waking up to the same weather forecast over and over again!
It's not that I don't like snow, heck I have no real place I need to be, so what's the big deal really. It's just that I woke up this morning feeling less than stellar and I'm on deadline for 2 stories, due on the 11th and neither one is completed. And I had to cancel one house interview today and likely won't make it out to the places I have to go to get the info I need for the other story, so more snow means more hassles, cold, and mess around here.
Besides the usual work hassles, I also have this other nagging little problem that accompanies inclement weather of any sort around here...wood floors and water! You see I love, cherish, and adore our new hardwood floors. I grew up in a home with hardwood and loved the feel of it underfoot, except when my father put a new coat of bowling alley wax on them once in a while and they turned in to ice hockey rinks, complete with the cold hard reality of falling flat on your back or your face!
So, after agonizing over which hardwood would be best for 2 very active dogs, kids, sand, dust, and messy muddy dirt, I was thrilled to see those gleaming boards running into each and every room of the house, except for the two bathrooms. I had done my homework, I knew that white oak was hard and durable and that country grade (ie. not select) rift and quartersawn wood had wonderful graining patterns to help hide scratches. My research had also taught me that by not having any stain applied and by ordering a special finish (one even less shiny than a matte finish to avoid the whole dust problem), we were assured years of blissful enjoyment of our wonderful new wooden friends...right?
For the first few weeks after it was installed I wandered around the house admiring my (our) great choice, this was perfect. I reassured myself that the gorgeous reclaimed lumber flooring I couldn't afford but lusted after was not nearly as pretty as my beautiful new floors. I even balked at the mere mention of putting down area rugs...what?!...and cover up my handsome new wood floors?! No way! But then it happened, the first scratch, I knew it was inevitable, that one day my perfect floors would become....gasp...imperfect, but I wasn't prepared! I completely freaked and ran out to the store and bought a stain stick, ok two, one to match the lighter grain and one for the darker grain...just in case!
And then another one and another one until finally I just said, you wanted distressed floors so here you go! I patted myself on the back for my newly adopted live and let live attitude and went about my merry way. But then this winter rolled around, our first one with the new floors, and it was back...that little, hair on the back of your neck raising, voice in my head screaming, water...on your floors...hurry...run...go get a towel and clean up your precious floors!
After the third or fourth snow fall, I've lost count, it finally dawned on me that I was fretting for no real good reason. Now that may have seemed obvious to some of you already, but sometimes I'm a little late to show up to the party! All this time I was wanting antique, distressed, 100 year old looking floors, all while babying the heck out of the ones I had!! The time had come for these floors to quit crawling and learn how to stand on their own two feet, without my towels, Swiffers, or any other sort of coddling cleaning devices!
Now, don't get me wrong, I want my floors to be clean, but worrying about every little drip, scratch, and ding was about to fly out the window just as quickly as the snowflakes were flying in! The floors I've loved and ooh'd and ahh'd over for years were banged up, worn down, scratched, and all beautiful, so mine would be too. The farmer's wife wasn't worried about a few puddles of water on the floor of those gorgeous old heart pine floors, and the perfectly gorgeous English oak pub floors I've walked on have seen a muddy boot or two in their time I venture to guess.
Over time I want to achieve that well worn look and have floors as beautiful as these...
Photo: Mountain Lumber
Photo: Mountain Lumber
Photo: Appalachian Woods, LLC
Photo: Exquisite Surfaces
But for now, things are a lot calmer around here since I've embraced the things that make old floors so desirable in the first place, the dents and marks of the thousands of footsteps and paw prints that have graced them throughout the years. And everyone here is happy to not hear the constant refrain of wipe your feet and take your shoes off the minute they walk in the door...ok, I still say those things sometimes, just not as often. I know that there are lots more things worth worrying about, and the good news is that by not worrying, I'm getting what I wanted all along...."woodn't" ya know!