New Carpet, a Hard-Earned Joy

??It’s been at least 20 years since I’ve had new carpet in my house, so I’d say it’s about time to update around here. I laugh when I remember how my volunteer Sherri and I went to pick out linoleum for the kitchen. I had no vision by then, so I had to rely completely on her taste and judgement, which made her very nervous. “Don’t even describe anything that’s ugly,” I advised. “Just tell me about the ones you would consider yourself.” My only suggestion was to find something that would blend in with paw prints from my dogs. For the carpet, I was completely on my own, just going by what the salesman described as he put down various samples in my living room. I chose one despite the name, Thunder Storm, which turned out to be a blueish dark grey, again to mask the dog prints.

This time, I had the good fortune to have my friend Valerie along with me, as well as her husband Mark to select the color at the store. It’s called Wonderful. I hope it is. It took a lot of frustration and irritation to be a part of my home décor.

Starting with a snarky person who answered my first call to Right rug, I was put off immediately. I suggested that someone come and bring samples. He told me they had 2,000 selections, so it would be better to come to the store. When we sat down to talk to Dan our soon to be salesman, he put down four samples, and that was it. I was expecting to be overwhelmed with choices. Four? As it turned out, Mark and Valerie both liked one, and that’s the one I now have in every room in my house. Next, we set a date, but they could only give me a window of eight hours for arrival. That meant I had to be dressed and ready at 8:00 a.m. and then possibly wait all day. No walk, no errands, no lunch out. Just sit and wait. So I prepared by bringing my lap top, my talking book player, a thermos of tea, and some snacks to the family room, the only room in the house not to be redone.

The next and most frustrating part of this adventure was selecting the laminate wood for the kitchen and bathroom. We chose a color, brought it home, rejected it, because it was too dark. then we brought it back, chose another color, brought it to the house, and decided it was right. Dan put in an order. So far so good. the next day, he told me that the manufacturer had stopped producing that color and had none left over, so back to the drawing board we went. We selected another color, which of course was not in stock, so I had to wait for it to come in. this time it was perfect, but it shouldn’t have been this hard.

Meanwhile, I had to move everything out of my closets and off the floor, strip the beds, find some place to store all this stuff and then make a list of where I put everything. My garage looked like a thrift shop on steroids. I had no idea I had so much stuff. I vowed that when I started putting everything away, I would only keep those items that “brought me joy.” Because I had been through this sort of experience with my mother’s belongings when we moved her into assisted living, it was not hard for me to sort out what I really wanted and needed. I recruited the help of my son and granddaughter McKenzie to carry armloads of clothes back up to the closet and heavy boxes of books. Then I recruited the other granddaughter Meghan to climb up on my countertops to put away the teapots and Blue willow dishes that I display in honor of my grandmother. now I have 6 empty storage bins in my garage. It’s been like moving, only moving back into the same house. But now this house has a fresh look and feel. My next adventure was with the lending institution, which I’ll have to talk about next time.

Mary Hiland

Author of “The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living A Daughter’s Memoir”

Available at, dldbooks, and NLS Talking Books DB 91261


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s