Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Old Floor, Solid Heart

Here's a 1970s-era photo of our house:
Isn't that ugly and sad? I'm sure that whoever lived here at the time thought that sun room was just groovy, but I'm thankful that a later owner chopped off the greenhouse and replaced the front deck. Someone before us put a lot of effort into a major interior remodel, as well. They moved the stairs to the basement, opening up the space down there to make it nice and modern. Although it looks like the budget ran short, they scraped up enough to install new kitchen cabinets and make new bathroom cabinets too.

Fast forward to here and now. Thanks to an inheritance, we've replaced the flooring in the main living areas. New vinyl in the kitchen looks superb, and we picked out a very nice carpet for the living room and hallway. It's wonderful to have such beautiful floors!

Before we ripped up the old carpet, I wondered whether we might possibly have hardwood in at least part of the living room. After seeing that sun room addition, and knowing that the front door has been moved, I figured that some of the original floor had to have been replaced. But what if we had a nice section of hardwood? Wouldn't that be something?

The day of the rip-up came. I was at work when the process started, and didn't hear anything about the progress. Guess what? WE HAVE HARDWOOD! Guess what else? IT'S COMPLETE! The whole living room and all the way down the hallway is original oak! And there's a gorgeous green slate hearth, too!

This floor is 48 years old, but when we're ready to tackle the mess, we can restore it to its full luster! I love old, I love original, I love natural materials. I love my house!

This made me think about endurance. Oak trees are sturdy. Oak lumber is strong. That floor was made to last. Even though it's been covered and stapled and walked on for many years, it can be made beautiful again because only the surface has changed. That's how I want to be.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be complete, lacking in nothing.

Okay, I have never been known to cheer about facing a new difficulty. In fact, I've always been susceptible to depression and I tend to think too much about the negative things in my life. But, the truth is, I know that God has allowed discomfort and sadness and obstacles to affect me for His good and His glory. May I, like that hardwood floor, stand the tests of time so that my heart may shine all the more brilliantly for Him in the end.


Aaron and Heather said...

We discovered hardwood floors under our brown shag carpet when we moved in. Lovely as that carpet was, I too, longed to see intact wood floors hidden under it! It was beautiful, even if we weren't able to refinish it for 3 years. :-)
As our kids race up and down the hall and around the "loop," I love knowing that 5 children before ours grew up racing and sliding on that same floor. It makes me feel somehow that our house knows what it's doing with kids, and will be a strong shelter for them in these growing up years. The halls echo with laughter and yells from today combined with the memories of those from the past 40+ years (that must be why it's so loud here). I know that those other 5 kids eventually grew up into adults, so it can happen again... ;-)

The Williams Five said...

I love hardwood floor! I wish we had hardwood under our current flooring.

Katharine said...

Heather, that's a great perspective on your house! Isn't it fun to ponder all the memories contained in those walls? Our house has had many owners, and a couple of them experienced great sorrow while they were here. It's nice to know the house has endured, but even better to know the God who is and was and is to come!

Erin, next time you move back to this area, you'll have to buy an older home!

Sandra said...

We were the fourth generation to live in my husband's family farmhouse and we refinished some of the wood floors in it too. Old houses truly were built to last.

We loved the 20 years we lived there. And it was especially fun to hear stories about previous generations of children in our house. One great memory that comes to mind is of a visiting elderly relative running his hand along the banister of our front hall stairway and fondly recalling sliding down that banister when he was a child. What a treat it was for him and me both to, just for a second, picture him as a little boy having fun in that house.

Sandra said...

Katharine -- I got carried away with memories of restoring and completely forgot to tell you that I love your comparison of how God makes us strong even through adversity, just like your wonderful oak floors have endured. Well said, friend.

K.M. Weiland said...

Hardwood floors are delightful. They're a little more maintenance-intensive, but definitely worth it, IMO.

carla said...

Saw your comment on "Add Humor and Faith" and wanted to visit here. Glad I did.

Back in the mid-70s my husband and I bought an old house. We were on a very tight budget but tried to fix up the house as much as we could. We were working on it right before we put it on the market and discovered that under the ugly olive green shag carpet was hardwood flooring - probably from about 1915.

Oh, how I wish we'd known when we first bought the house.

Katharine said...

Oh, Carla, how sad! And to think of all the time you spent looking at that olive green shag. Sigh. Hopefully, someone is enjoying the real floor now.

Thanks for stopping by!