Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Grandma Memory: Where's my Floor
Gosh it was fun writing about the snoring and while I was driving home this morning I remembered another funny incident with my mom. I was 15 or 16 and we didn't have a lot of money and certainly not enough to redo the ancient flooring in the kitchen. The floor was an old linoleum dated back in the 50's and it was yellowed and cracked in places. In the cracked places a wide planked wooden floor peeked thru. I got the brilliant idea to redo the floor by myself as a surprise to mom. I had it all planned out, after she went to bed I would stay up and remove the old floor, wash the wooden one and throw a spot of wax on it and the next morning she would be thrilled. I mean how hard could it be... the old floor was just lifting up by itself. Mom went to bed and I started in and discovered a problem about 2 feet into the removal. The old linoleum was affixed to the floor with a black tar like substance with the consistency of cement. I had a knife and a wall paper scraper. When I realized the problem I couldn't go back because the old linoleum broke apart as I lifted it up. I continued on hacking and scraping thru the night. My hands were a mess but I had broken piles of linoleum everywhere and managed to get them out of the house. I made very little headway on the black tar like substance and I cannot describe just how awful the kitchen looked, it was already morning and she was up. We had the old kind of coffee pot, a drip type, and I made coffee for her and sat myself at the kitchen table awaiting my fate. She came down stairs and walked into the kitchen, said good morning and went to get her coffee. She poured a cup at the stove and I can still see her beginning to drink when she just stopped and stared straight ahead. She looked down and said Oh my God someone stole my kitchen floor By this time I was weeping and she repeated Debbie someone took my floor Her tone of voice was shocked puzzlement. For that moment she really thought someone had come in and taken the whole floor. When I tell you it was a bizarre moment I kid you not. She finally realized I was crying and asked me what was wrong. Thru the hiccups, runny nose and tears I told her what I had wanted to do and showed her my hands and continued to cry. Man she was unflappable. She just hugged me and told me it was all right that she would fix it. We ended up having to have it sanded off and sure enough under the tar was the floor that I had seen in my imagination. My mom ranked right up there with the best, snoring and all. She appreciated the 'gift' for what it was and never held against me the mess that I had created. I miss her.