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Davis Journal

Home Makeover: COVID edition

Jan 03, 2022 11:41AM ● By Peri Kinder

One morning I woke up and I’d had enough. The pandemic had forced us to look at our walls and carpet 24/7 and every day the chips in the paint got bigger and the stains on the carpet got wider. Was that blood or pudding? I couldn’t tell anymore.

It was time to take action.

My husband tends to overthink in a death-spiral sort of way, so our conversation went from “What kind of paint/flooring should we get?” to “What if we spend two weeks with our dog in a tent in a blizzard?” I let him ruminate for a while before moving to the next phase. 

We talked about painting the rooms ourselves and laughed hysterically for a couple of hours. We are not the DIY kind of people. We once assembled a bookshelf together so I knew we needed to hire a professional; either a professional painter or a professional divorce attorney.

We reached out to our friend, Rick Hepner, who was delighted to paint our home, plus he got to enjoy our 4-year-old granddaughter following him around asking him what he was doing, why he was doing it, how long he’d be doing it and if he wanted to play Barbies.

While preparing the walls, Rick discovered ecosystems behind our furniture where sentient beings lived in and breathed only dust. He waded through chest-deep dust like we were living in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl era, or maybe the sequel to Dune. 

Once the dust was hauled away and the walls were beautifully painted, we turned our attention to the floors. Our carpet crossed the prairie in the back of a handcart, survived nuclear testing in Southern Utah and was definitely sprouting tentacles. Time to toss it before it murdered us in our sleep.

Then came the discussion of wood versus carpet. My husband is old school and likes soft carpeting, probably so he doesn’t break a hip if he falls. I like the clean line of wood. We compromised with me getting wood flooring in my office, and carpet everywhere else; except the bathroom. We’re not animals.

When it came time to move furniture out of the house, I threw things away willy-nilly. I took bags of clothes and shoes and children to Goodwill. My husband followed behind me, taking things out of donation bags and hiding them. He has sentimental attachments to items like water bottles and lanyards and the blouse I wore when we saw the Blue Man Group in 2008.

Finally, the walls were painted, flooring was complete, furniture was moved back and everything was right with the world. But our dog was hyperventilating. 

Before renovation (BR), she’d nap under the guest bed, which is now in another home. She wandered the halls, forlorn and lost, carrying her bone from room to room, trying to navigate her apocalyptic new world.

Not only that, but the wood floor distressed her and she refused to walk on it. She slept on the couch until midnight. Then I heard her toenails clicking as she walked across the floor and threw herself onto her bed, sighing loudly, so we’d know she’d been inconvenienced. 

For a while, we played The Floor is Lava to keep the carpet looking bright and new. But walls get scratched and carpet gets stained because life is a messy, dirty, grimy experiment where sometimes you don’t know if the stain on the carpet is blood or pudding, and your dog needs therapy, and your husband unpacks the donation bags. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.