No matter how carefully I plan, it seems major renovations around here collide with major holidays. Easter 2000 was a good example.
We decided we needed new linoleum in the kitchen. Well, actually I decided it. In fact, I decided this even before we redid the rest of the downstairs.
I was shopping with someone else in a store which sold flooring when I saw the pattern I wanted. This was two years before I finally got it. It was much too expensive, so I tucked it in the back of my mind.
Then it came up again right after we redid the rest of the downstairs, but this definitely was not the time to bring it up so I waited.
When we got the new stove in the kitchen a little later I did point out how pretty the old linoleum was under the stove where no one could see it. I hoped someone besides me would notice how dark the old flooring had become.
A month or so later, when I had some spare time, I dropped in to look at flooring samples in a few stores. Amazingly the pattern I had admired two years before was still on the market at the same price, but now it seemed less expensive.
I gathered up six different samples including French Cottage, my favorite, took them home and laid them out in various spots around the kitchen to see which looked best. Before I went to bed, I put the houseplants in their baskets in the sink to soak them thoroughly.
The next morning I asked Bill how he liked the variety of flooring samples spread out on the kitchen floor. He said “I didn’t notice. I was too busy fighting the jungle in the sink when I tried to fill the coffee pot.”
Pretty soon most of the family and an assortment of friends helped us decide on the pattern I had chosen two years before, French Cottage.
It was time to haggle with the dealers. We finally agreed to pay more than we wanted to and set a date to lay the flooring. The Monday after Easter was the first available date. I opted for the Tuesday after Easter to give us one day to clean out the kitchen after the Easter family dinner.
April brought meeting after meeting to prepare for and attend. Time for spring cleaning the kitchen before the new floor was installed got shorter and shorter. Sudden inspiration! I would have to hire someone to do it for me, some well trained soul who could meet my standards of perfection.
The one selected one was my youngest daughter, the one who had once informed me, “Slaves like me have to be sold.”
She cleaned for four hours two days before Easter. When she was finished, I just wanted to stand in the kitchen and look around at everything but the floor. But, I had to get things ready for the family Easter dinner for about 40 people.
A new problem loomed — how to buy for the dinner and have no leftovers because the refrigerator would have to be moved the day after. We did it, but I had to make a flying trip to the grocery after Mass on Easter morning because I cut my supplies too short in some instances.
Easter Monday it was fairly easy to get everything moved or removed. I called the dealer to confirm our date for Tuesday. He said, “Can I get back to you?” I didn’t say anything, but I had a sinking feeling maybe we weren’t on the schedule.
I didn’t hang up. I heard computer keys clicking, and he finally said, “OK, I think we could be there first thing in the morning.”
“When is first thing?” I asked.
“Seven thirty,” he replied.
They came and we finally had our new kitchen floor.
Finally we were all done with redoing. All I had to do was clean the attic, the basement, and the spare bedroom.
One of these days I’m going to get all of this done. Then it will be time to start over again.
AUTHOR’S Note: This column was first published in the Daily Advocate March 14, 2001.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.