Saturday, July 30, 2011

Upon Moving In

We took possession of our new home a week ago.
First, we rented a carpet cleaner for those carpets we were keeping.
We walked in, and the smell was strong.
Animals.
Someone Else's Dog.
A Very Old Cat.

Open the window!
It needs Light.
And the Breath of Wind.
And Clean Water.

Tear down this plastic -- it's suffocating the home.
The walls are dirty, but let's find the smell first.

My sisters came to help us.
My husband went upstairs to sweat and work.
We women stood and looked at the living room carpet, and the stair hall.
Is this the first thing?
Do we rip it out now, while there is no furniture on it?
Or do we do it 'later' -- after life parks itself there and won't move?
I think this should go first.
Obviously owner after owner neglected this one vital undo.
And it's a testament to their bad taste and bad hygiene.
Let's see how easy it will come out.


We began pulling.
Between us three women, we had a hammer, a Wonder Bar, pliers, and a razor blade.
It was sufficient.
The pad underneath was powder.
We thought we saw hardwood under it at first,
but realized in a minute it was laminate
which had been sparingly used around only the edge of the room,
so a rug could trick you into believing it was in the room.
We were thankful again for their poor installation,
as it made fairly easy work of ripping it all up.
The powdered pad puffed into our faces and we threw open more windows.

Encouraged by the ease of the living room, I tackled the hall.
That iniquitous hall.
It was much harder.
When my husband walked through, I accosted him for a little muscle around the doors,
where I had stood on the Wonder Bar for leverage,
and had still been unable to pry up the staple.
I was afraid I would snap it.
He was successful.

It wasn't until the very last section that I thought, "This feels... wet."
I thought it was my imagination.
The house had been empty for several weeks, to our knowledge.
But when my sister came to help me gather it up and get it out, she confirmed it.
It was saturated in dog urine.
The odor was overpowering.
We began mopping.
There were nails and staples catching the mops.
Jeff ran the carpet cleaner over the spot.
Better... but still not gone.

When it comes to restoration, the first part is the grossest, usually.
As with us, I think.
The fifty years of dirty kitchen grease ground into old linoleum.
The dog hair clogging the bathroom sink.
The rodent droppings.
The horrible paneling. 

Throw open the windows!
We need His Light.
His Breath of Wind.
The Water of His Word to scrub us clean.
He knows which the worst thing is -- where to start tearing to bring you to glory. 

And He can see the Tornado Watch porch paint and Granite Dust walls
which will compliment your seven living room windows and divided-light pocket doors.
And the hope of built-in bookshelves ceiling-high.

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