Since moving into this house more than three years ago, the living room carpet has taken its share of abuse. Not in good shape to begin with, we added such lovely touches as smashed-in red Playdoh, shampoo and shower gel (one of my autistic daughter’s favorite sensory activities), pizza sauce, muddy paw prints, play sand, magic marker, juice, and other items I’d rather not mention. I’d told myself the stains were just part of the house’s character, and that they were “custom” designs, but even the dog was beginning to complain.

Though it would blow our already constrained budget, when we found a good deal on laminate we bought it and decided to install it ourselves. So, it sat, untouched, in the garage for over a month …

My parents, sensing our downward spiral into flu and cold season, made a decision. They not only paid for the flooring, they paid for the installation. Yay!

After moving all the junk out of the room the night before the installer’s arrival, I thanked God and my parents that I wouldn’t have to do anything else. My limbs screamed with aches and the sense of chaos drove my already frayed nerves over the edge. And that wasn’t all. When we pulled aside a large hutch, we discovered a leak and a moldy spot on the carpet. Not good.

And “not good” is exactly what the contractor said when he arrived. So, a one-day project stretched into three days, with drying out the spot, locating the leak, and fixing all the pieces of the puzzle. But, in the end, the floors turned out beautiful and I have been so thankful ever since! What a blessing.

When I called my parents to thank them again for the beautiful floors, my dad asked me what I was going to do with my high-powered steam cleaner, another gift from him.

Not to worry, Dad. I put the steam cleaner to good use upstairs just before I sat down to write this.