Monday, April 02, 2007

1947 Lineoleum Floor

Spring has sprung! It's so nice to have the doors and windows open. It gives us an urge to get things done.

Pat has been busy this winter. He has reworked the living room walls, evening out some boo-boos and painting walls and ceiling. On nice days he has puttered in the 3-car garage, organizing it and enjoying his "man-space."

BUT NOW! IT'S TIME TO GET BACK ON THE PROJECT! We outdid ourselves today. (Am I sore!) We had been using Granny Mitchell's iron bed in our bedroom, but it was just too large. That wonderful foot rail that curves out to make a quilt holder takes up 18" more floor space than we had to spare. Today Pat wanted to install the new ceiling fan in our bedroom, so it was a great time to switch bed frames.

Pat took down the iron bed and pulled out the red cedar one that matches the rest of the bedroom set. It had been in storage for more than five years and was layered in cobwebs and dust. I grabbed the lemon oil and a rag and began dusting. Hey! There was wood under there!

All winter I have been muttering about the 1940s lineoleum on the bedroom floor. I have no idea how old that flooring truly is, but it looks like the stuff that was on the floor in grandma's house when I was a kid. It's real lineoleum, not vinyl.

"Do you really want to take that flooring up?" Pat asked as I was mopping it. "YES!" was my resounding cry. Hey! I guessed right. We rolled it until it cracked and broke, then took it out in pieces. Underneath was a layer of old newspapers. Kansas City Star, Feb. 2, 1947. The flooring was one year older than me!

We had fun with the newspaper. There was a politically incorrect ad for Aunt Jemima pancake mix, a Parade insert with an advertisement for "the really original postwar styling" of a Studebaker, and the funnies! Gasoline Alley. Little Orphan Annie. Dick Tracy. There were funnies there that I haven't seen since I was a kid; some I've only heard about. One called "Newsreel" had a story about Groundhog's Day. We weren't able to salvage much of the paper, but I kept the Studebaker add and a page of funnies. Pat would have liked to spend the afternoon just reading the paper, but we had things to do.

The bedroom is too small to rearrange. The furniture only fits in one way. But we have a wood floor now. The boards are stained but not varnished... and as ugly as Mom said they were. She despaired at the wood floors in this house. She said "I've seen better floors in barns." They are wide, poorly fitted, pine boards. Air leaks through them in the winter (remember me complaining about the cold in the computer room?).

Pat put insulation under the computer room and the bathroom. He plans to do this room soon. We will probably put floating laminate in this room and the computer room as well as the living room and kitchen. There really is nothing here worth salvaging.