My love of hardwood began when I was a child. We lived in an old Tudor style home in Ohio. My parents bought the house, which used to be a grand 1920s home, on the cheap. No one wanted to live in an drafty, uninsulated home in the 1970s during the oil crisis. It was much too expensive to heat. Well we bought it, and just bundled up in the winter and wore next to nothing in the hot summers. My parents, in an effort to add warmth and cheer to the gloomy old relic, put carpet over most of the original wood floors. Now imagine the bold 70s color choices and take that up a notch. We had bright olive green carpet in the den and the big bedroom which served as a nursery. But for the living room, whose dark, mahogany built-ins surrounded diamond-patterned leaded windows, my mother picked special a coppery, orange shag carpet. She said the stately room was screaming for color. Ah well, she loved the ’70s.
Anyway, my love for hardwoods is tied to story time. My parents’ bedroom was one of two rooms in the house not hit by the ’70s invasion. My parents never carpeted it, I think because they could not agree on a color. On cold winter nights, my brother and I would cross the dark polished wood floor, past the fireplace’s hearth, to climb up on the big master bed and be read Charles Dicken’s David Copperfield and Louisa May Alcot’s Little Women. I loved sliding my socked feet across that smooth wooden floor. The beauty of which still stands in my memory. My mother was always fearful that if I went across the floor too fast, I would fall and crack my head, but I loved those floors. We she wasn’t looking, my brother and I would take a running start and slide across the almost ebony-black wood from the doorway to leap onto the soft bed.
What really sealed the deal for me, loving hardwood that is, was when my parents decided I needed my own room around my third birthday. My brother kept the bigger room, former nursery with the awful green carpet, and they moved me into a small bedroom at the front of the house that used to be a junk room. It’s junk room status saved it from a 70s makeover. Facing East with a wonderful bay window, the little room was light and airy with a honey-colored oak floor. I loved that room! I delighted in how the light gleamed on the old wooden floor, which was shiny from years of stockinged feet rubbing across it. In my mind, that room was a fairyland. In mid-morning, I would hide in my imagination, seeing the magic in the place with sunshine pooling on the polished planks like golden fairy dust.