Holidays, 2015

Holidays, 2015
A Winter Scene - red door, a dusting of snow, and a vintage bicycle

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A love story in a bamboo floor

I have three daughters- I know everyone loves their children, but I am blessed beyond belief.  They are strong women, good to the Earth, take care of their bodies, lives, and homes, and they help others as well. They work hard, laugh heartily, and give strong hand shakes.  They wear heels and running shoes; they kick- box, volunteer, and love sushi.  My youngest daughter is getting married soon.  She is 27.  She is in her 3rd year of vet school and it has been a life dream of hers to go to Africa.  That dream became reality on June 12 when she left for Tanzania and returned yesterday, on Aug. 11.  While she was gone, her fiance' and I worked on the townhouse they are going to live in and made it 'theirs' because both of them honor the earth to their core.  My daughter is working w/ conservation medicine and her fiance' is an environmental engineer.   He wanted to install a bamboo floor on the main level of the home so that she would see it when she walked in the door first thing, every day, after a long day of classes and work.  And so it began. And Home Depot is where we bought almost everything that went into the project.

  My daughter LOVES animals....and part of her trip to Africa as a vet student was to study the effect of humans and the environment on the fragile species of Tanzania.  So, a bamboo flooring called 'Tiger Stripe' was fairly appropriate. And, so it was.  The wood was purchased and a very old Toyota Van was used to carry it over to the house.
1992 Toyota Van comes through for a TON of flooring!

We both decided we would make it a surprise, because HONESTLY, we didn't think it could be pulled off in the time there was left before she got home.  Many other projects were done first, but her fiance's grandfather died during the time period my daughter was away, so approximately 2 weeks was lost in dealing with a very difficult situation. AND, he really wanted to do it himself.....for reasons to be explained shortly. 

Carpet nearly 10 years old had to be removed, along with padding, carpet tacking, and dust and dirt.  The floors had to be prepped and primed for the big project.  Besides all of this, we painted the entire place, replaced all faucets, toilets, oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, garbage disposal, fans in bathrooms.  All blinds were removed and replaced with wood blinds.  All closets were re-organized....a BIG PROJECT....more in another blog post! 
It was difficult to imagine at this point how it would ever be done!

One friend helped for the first day, to begin the process in the closet and the far hall near the main floor bathroom.  It was a 'boost' and a springboard to all the work that was ahead.  The space in the house that was to be finished is the living room/dining room area/ hall/ and closet.  Where the stairs to the upstairs meets the main level is where 'C' decided to place the 'KEYSTONE' of the flooring.  C inscribed one board of the flooring with a special notation to my daughter expressing his love for her, the date of the installation, and the significance of the project.  He calls their relationship 'The Longevity Project" and the bamboo flooring is strong, grown sustainably, and has the core principles of which they both believe.  And the name  Tiger Stripe wasn't too bad either! That one board was a significant part of the plan and all along, he worked diligently to work all other pieces around that foundation board.

At the bottom of this photograph is where the KEYSTONE board was placed.

It was difficult working in this area for many reasons, one of which was the fact that furniture had to be moved from one part of the room to the other to complete the project, and all of the sawing had to be done outside.

Small spaces to work for a BIG-HEARTED project

   In the meantime, one of my other daugther's back went out and I had to take her to the emergency room.  We spent the next week at appointment with an orthopedic surgeon and other specialists to help ease the pain and figure out a course of action.  Poor 'C' was abandoned for the week--NOT that I was laying any boards, but an occasional 'That looks AWESOME' always helps and I could only call w/ encouragement and support.  He was also WORKING his job during this time and managing two dogs and 1 cat in my daughter's absence.     

A tedious and labor intensive job; i.e. 20 HOURS

On Aug. 9, 'C' had to leave on a business trip--literally HOURS prior to his leaving, he finished the project.  He was to return home on Aug. 11, the SAME day my daughter returned from AFRICA, so there was NO more time to finish anything else.  The floor HAD to be finished prior to his leaving.  I could clean up, straighten up, move furniture, etc. but the brute work was to be done prior to the trip. On Monday, Aug, 9, I hugged 'C' good-bye and looked around.....ok, I can do this.  I will put into another blog some of the projects that took place in the two days prior to their return, but I want to get to the good parts of this amazing story. 

On Aug. 11, I received a text from 'C' who told me that he arrived safely back to the airport and had my daughter in his car and they were headed home.  Now I had 1 hour and 30 minutes until the 'reveal' as he called it.  It was time for the 'move that bus' portion of extreme home makeover.  

I put a few of her favorite things on the mantle: live bamboo, a picture of the two of them, candles, and a giraffe, symbolic of her recent journey and life accomplishment

The door she's going to come through
The dogs anticipate her arrival....

'C' slipped a note under a rug near the keystone board.  When my daughter came in, she was stunned--tears came streaming down her face.  A new 'look' to their home- to start their life together as a married couple.  He pointed to the note on the floor and she bent down to pick it up. 

It's good....really good....
He stood near her as she read his message and looked at the photographs of the keystone board that he took prior to laying the board into the floor. 

His foot points to the keystone board as she is reading his note.
Lots of 'ohs' came from her lips as she read; she was deeply touched by his message and felt the powerful strength of his love in the work he had done while she was away. 

The wedding is in approximately 3 weeks....I think they are off to a good, solid, sustainable start...

Welcome Home!
And that's a love story in a bamboo floor...



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