So, yesterday, I got up close and personal with my kitchen and bathroom floors. For the first time in over 10 years I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed them.
Now, don’t go thinking I’m some kind of slovenly pig — I do wash my floors quite regularly — at least once a week, but I usually do it with a mop.
My husband owns this horrible pair of black-soled shoes that leaves awful scuff marks whenever he tromps through the house with them on. I’ve asked that he cease doing that, at least in those shoes, but, he’s a man and he forgets. So, I’m forever stooping down to scrub them away and cursing him while I’m at it.
Yesterday, I decided it was high time to wash the floors and I noticed that there were scuff marks all over the place. I would be stooping and cursing a lot, it seemed.
It would, I thought, be easier to just stay low to the floor. Out came the mop bucket, a good rag, one of those miracle sponge thingys and a scrub brush — and a towel for my knees, which I didn’t think of getting until I was nearly half-way done.
I enjoyed the exercise. Honestly. While I was down there scrubbing away and wiping off the scuff marks I had a great conversation with myself. I thought about the Christmas just past and how much I’d enjoyed myself, I envisioned my afternoon with friends and the movie we were going to see. I mumbled and muttered away to myself about all kinds of little, forgettable things. Yes, it took twice the amount of time it normally takes me to wash the floors, but, it was time well spent.
My floors are old. They’re pushing 30, I believe, and need replacing in the worst way. But, they’re going to have to last for a couple more years, at least. I took my time while scrubbing and wiped the baseboards down, I dug into corners and scrubbed grimy spots under the cupboards. I was horrified to discover just how much hair I’d lost — my god, it was everywhere!
While I was down there I thought about how much use these floors have seen: the years my son spent growing up here and the thousands of footsteps he’d taken upon them; the scrabble of our two dog’s nails upon them as we tossed balls or played catch-me! with them; the hushed footsteps of my husband and I as we traversed the cool linoleum on early mornings trying not to wake each other as we begin our days; the untold number of friends and family’s footsteps during visits and holidays; and now, the constant patter of my grandchildren’s small feet as they run and dash through the house whenever they’re over.
They are old floors, they are battle-scarred and worn, and as I washed and scrubbed and scoured I felt thankful that I had such wonderful floors.
Still, when I was done, when I stood up and slowly flexed my aching knees and stretched out my crooked back I took an appraising look at my handiwork and declared loudly that that was the last time I’d wash a floor on my hands and knees. Ever.
Oh, and lovely memories or not, those floors gotta go.