My parents are the King and Queen of Home Improvement. Since they moved to their home here in Cali about a year and a half ago, they've completely remodeled their kitchen and master bathroom, replaced the carpet, painted the entire house inside and out, changed every door nob and lighting fixture, installed a new heater and tankless water heater, and had three doors and a closet installed where none existed before. The only major improvements left are a master bedroom closet overhaul, new hardwood flooring, and a fireplace remodel. The house is beautiful, and a major improvement from the state in which they purchased it.
The big, glaring stuff my parents redid made perfect sense; they are things that anybody with the means and energy would tackle. But there are things they think to redo or revamp that the majority of people would never even consider. Or maybe it's just me who wouldn't...I'm not sure.
Anyway, on the home improvement list for tonight was moving the washer and dryer to the garage and covering over the linoleum below it in time for the new washer and dryer to arrive tomorrow morning. When the appliances were removed, my Mom diligently set to work cleaning the linoleum.
"Why are you cleaning it?" I asked. "Aren't you going to take it out?"
"No," my Mom answered, we are going to put the new linoleum over it."
"Oh....so why are you going to do that?"
"Because this linoleum is ugly."
Yeah, can't argue there. (this is obviously before the major cleaning). Still, I'm not sure I would have had it in me to go to the trouble of linoleum-ing over this ugly linoleum, which big appliances would be mostly covering anyway. But when my folks do something, they do it all the way, and they do it right.
And this attention to detail (notice how artfully I avoided saying "anal retentiveness") that they both possess made it that much more surprising and touching to me that they trusted me with
Today's New Activity: Laying Down a Linoleum Floor
I didn't even know you could buy linoleum in squares that mimic the look of tiles (sans grout, that is), or that you could just peel and stick them. Cool! And I really wanted to try this out because my hope is to have a home for the monkey and me one day, and I'd love to start learning some home improvement skills for when that time arrives.
Monkey feels the same way, apparently, because he was super intent on helping vacuum during the old linoleum clean-up process (he's obsessed with the vacuum and will play with it (this little vacuum or the giant shop vac) longer than he plays with any single toy of his. When he was done and my Dad had stripped off the wax finish from the old linoleum, I set to work under his careful tutelage.
Measuring and cutting the corner squares...
Fitting them all into place...
Yes, that's a little gap there up against the floor, but it's to be covered over with a threshold strip.
Now the only work remaining for the evening was to re-paint the lower back and side walls of the laundry nook and all the baseboards. Why, you ask, when nobody in the world stands a chance of ever seeing these areas unless my parents move out and take their new washer and dryer with them?
"Because it just feels better, knowing it's clean and done right," is my Mom's answer. I really like that attitude. If only we could keep all the areas of our lives in such clean, working order...even the parts that nobody sees.
I'm looking to feel that kind of clean all the way around recently: to go to bed knowing I'd done my best that day....been the best person and mother and friend and citizen and employee I could be. I almost never achieve "best" in all or even one of those categories...but there is something to be said for sleeping well, having a clear conscience, and working toward improving daily. There is something to be said for taking the time to do it right--clean up and clear up and rework, in preparation for shiny new things you're welcoming into your life :)