I don’t know about you but I find haunting comfort in looking out my kitchen window at the same landscape, day-after-day and year-after-year changed only by high-in-the-sky or low-slanted sunlight and the color wash of the various seasons. In this I find contentment and I find similar contentment in my old tatty jeans, my gardening shoes stressed and faded by antiquity, and my old ravaged and worn living room rug. My old things provide me with caressing comfort that new things no longer provide.
Simply stated, the longer I have something, the fonder I am of it. Of course in my younger years I wanted everything new, fashionable, cutting edge, but I’m not like that anymore. With the progress of time, my things, concrete or abstract – landscapes, words, jeans, shoes, books, furniture, and even floor coverings have subtly formed a dynamic in my existence that goes beyond possession. As I age, I value as priceless that which ages with me. This is my new old-age perception that provides body and soul with a counterirritant for my physical and mental decline.
And so, in keeping with that perception, because I’ve had Hub for a very long time, he is right up there with the rest of my aging abstractions of indeterminate value. Like my kitchen landscape, Hub is precious because he has longevity on his side. And at this stage of my life, longevity positively doubles and triples the value.
I tell you these ponderings because for Mother’s Day, Hub installed new laminate floors in the living room and dining room.
So now I look at my new living area. There is a warm gloss and sheen to the new floors. But there is a part of me that misses the old silver-gray rug. I should have had a new rug years ago but I kept putting it off. Didn’t make good sense to get one with three dogs that come in and out at will through the dog-door regardless of the weather. So instead of a new rug the old rug was shampooed and shampooed. And surprisingly, despite coarse treatment, that old rug washed up nicely although all my arduous shampooing efforts could not erase the fatigue of its many years. How many years? I’m not too sure. Maybe fifteen, maybe more.
So when sadness at the loss of something precious that I’ve had more than half as long as Hub began to wash over me, I said to myself, “There is one thing that is going to make me appreciate my new floor wholeheartedly.
When I see what is under that rug there will be nothing but solid relief that it was ripped out. Just one bit of mold, one crawler/larvae/tick, alive or dead, will make me feel absolute orgasmic ecstasy that the old rug is gone.
But guess what? There was nothing. Not even a dead fruit-fly. No mold. No disgusting thing whatsoever. Yeh, a bit of debris and powdery underlay, but nothing to make me click my heels together and happily kiss my old rug good-bye.
I share this final secret with you. Please don’t tell Hub but my appreciation for my new floors is somewhat blunted by sadness. I can’t help feeling like a little bit of my heart and soul went out the door with that old grey rug that we danced on so many times and that caressed puppies’ feet and my own for so many years.