Have you ever flipped through an album of old photos? Perhaps at an elderly relative's home, a museum, or even a thrift store? Both Duncan and I especially love finding old photos of Louisville and Southern Indiana. It's because some landmarks never change. We can easily pick out the Brown Hotel, the St. James Court Fountain, or even a recognizable Gothic church in the Highlands. The buildings are stoic but all the things around it in the background have changed: old timey cars parked on the streets, tiny saplings where mighty oaks now stand, or a street lamp lighter on a tall ladder with his flame.
So it is with hardwood floors. I was recently flipping through some photos of our children as babies, our wedding, our first Christmas in our first home. And always in the background I see the wood floors. They stand as silent witnesses to chubby knees becoming little pitter patter feet and eventually toddlers taking their first leaps, of boo boos and skinned knees that are healed with a kiss from Mommy, of young children strapping on backpacks for their first day of kindergarten...and beyond. In pictures from my childhood it was the height of the wall-to-wall carpeting trend.
My grandmother spent a fortune on thick white carpet....30 years later it is long gone. All that remains are the pictures of little girls with big hair opening Holiday Barbies in front of the tree. But the wood floors Duncan lovingly laid while I was pregnant with our first child? They're still there even though we aren't. They'll stand for decades. Even if they are scratched or dull, they can be refinished. They can be repaired. They are timeless. Their natural beauty will never go out of style like white carpet once did and no amount of muddy boots can ruin them forever.
Those floors will remember our milk-drunk first born on her first day home from the hospital:
They will remember how she used to stand on her tippy toes before she could walk:
They will remember her first steps:
They will remember when big sisters proudly held little brothers for the very first time:
Hardwood floors last for all your memories. And long after you and I are gone they're still there. Even after 116 years you can find them....standing firm in the background of someone else's memories: