Old Pine

Some very, very, very well-worn floorboards.

“So, we’ll try to save the floorboards.”

Uh, no. Wrong answer. We will save the floorboards.

This is an old house. More than a century old. These are the original floors. And yes, they are a bit distressed. I like ’em that way.

I am not so crazy about the grooves that catch crumbs and fill up with junk when I pass the broom over them. I have discovered, though, that if I quickly and smartly sweep back and forth in the grooves, the gunk comes out. And then, if I push the rubble quickly, I can brush the detritus into the dust pan.

[Actually, moving quickly doesn’t help. The stuff still falls in the crevices. I just do it quickly because it seems like it should be more effective. Then I sweep it up and out of the cranny and move it along to the next cratered board and the next until I get to the lesser-damaged area. Thought I’d let you know that I wasn’t really fooling myself.]

The finish is shot on most of the exposed wood. The wood under the area rugs looks great. Under the radiators? Fabulous. Where we walk, where the dining room chairs slide back and forth, the hallway run where the Beast chases what’s left of his Kylo Ren doll? Pretty well unfinished. There is no fear of sliding and falling if you run through the house in stocking feet. But watch for splinters. And for the nailheads.

The morning sun streaming through the dining room window will still reflect a bit on some parts of the floor. Closer to the walls where there is less traffic for sure, but there is a gleam beneath the arch between the dining and living rooms.

While I have been derelict in my care for them, I love these old floors. They hardly creak, but a few spots do. There is a decent-sized hole in the Big Guy’s room, where we had to put a big board so that the bed leg wouldn’t fall through. The floor by the front door is a hot mess, with embedded pine needles from Christmases past stuck deep in rain and snow damaged trenches.

But I don’t want new floors. I don’t want the house to look new. Like the lines at the corners of my eyes or the gray streaks in The Spouse’s locks or the loose skin around our middles, there is no reason to erase all signs of time. A little bit of yoga, an eye cream that delivers more hope than results, a slightly shorter haircut that minimizes the amount of silver will get us through.

These floors. I don’t want them to look new. I just want them to last longer.

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