Joy: wood floors

We’re coming up on the 3-year anniversary of our Great Flood of 2009. Which expelled us from our home for four months and caused nearly $50k in damage and forever altered the way we view possessions. (Didn’t alter my sweet tooth, though, which, frankly, would’ve been a welcome side effect…)

It was a crazy experience to arrive home from a weeklong vacation and, exhausted, enter an allsofasudden uninhabitably waterlogged house, take a heart-sinking inventory of the damage, and sit in a state of numbness while waiting for the insurance and disaster cleanup people to coordinate. But, over the ensuing days and weeks and months, the shock trasformed into creative fodder for fabulous home improvements. Stuff like new tub surrounds. New doors. New bathrooms. New flooring. New moldings. New arrangements. New new new…

One of the changes we opted for was to replace the ceramic tile floor in the entryway, dining room, and kitchen with red oak. The floor that was once cold and grout-grimy (let’s pretend my lack of housecleaning had nothing to do with that) became warm, welcoming, earthy, and part of the ebb and flow of our home.

To anyone else, the floor is nice but probably nothing special — a place to walk on, sweep (in theory), and spill the occasional glass of milk. But to me, it’s become a talisman of change, of the capacity to make things beautiful when circumstances are anything but. I think you get the point, but just in case, let me be clear: it brings me joy, and I love this floor. Maybe not enough to recommend extensively flooding one’s house to attain such a treasure, but then again, maybe so.*

*But, really, not. Because having a flooded house stinks. 

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