Taking up the carpet

 I know it looks a little creepy, but this is mask I wore yesterday.

My husband and I decided to take up some old carpeting in our bedroom. We had moved this carpet from our first house to our present home. It didn’t owe us much. We had purchased a remnant of a neutral, densely woven, low nap carpet. It was in our family room and then our bedroom. It got a lot of heavy traffic and a good bit of cat hair. (Um.. and cat hork, too.) Even when shampooed and vacuumed, it had long since stopped looking clean.

So, it was time to say, “Buh-bye!”

Except there was this LEETLE complication… we have a king-sized waterbed.

Waterbeds, in case you don’t know, aren’t exactly easy to move. They don’t shove to one side or the other so that you can easily vacuum behind them. Or remove a carpet, for that matter. (But the comfort they give is SO WORTH the extra hassle!)

My husband, channeling MacGyver, decided that we could use a scissor jack and various cutting implements, and get the carpet and pad pulled out in sections. We did not realize that we had a much, much bigger task than we realized. Just for the record (in case you are about to try this at home…)

  1.  15 years of cat hair is a lot of cat hair… even when you vacuum what you can reach and…
  2. king-sized beds are wide and hard to reach all the way to the middle.

He ended up using not only carpet shears, but a machete, a box-cutter knife and a pole saw to pull out the carpet and pad in sections. You would not have believed its dusty, grimy state. We rolled up each section and bagged them. After several hours of hacking, jacking, cutting and stuffing, we got the carpet out. It left behind a pile of carpet fribs, dust and cat hair. My lovely self-decorated mask let me breathe without wheezing. The local dump wins the spoils. (No I would not Freecycle this because some loony would come and get this gross piece of carpeting!)

But we were really surprised at the dirt (and the smell) that came from pulling up the carpet. It had never been glued down. It had been cleaned and vacuumed frequently. (I swear I’m not a total slob.) But we were almost grossed out at the grime that appeared as we rolled and bagged the pieces. Who knew? There was all kind of stink brewing under our feet. We just never stopped to notice.

It seems to me there’s lots of times in this life that our actions, when left unexamined, can brew quite a stink. It’s a bit disquieting. But it also brings me back to my knees with a prayer…

cleanse my heart
help me keep it real
I sure do love you

So as God breathes new life into my heart, and renews me… I am so grateful for a breath of “fresh air” — not just in the carpeting, but in my life. This song by Darlene Zschech came to mind… it’s not new. But the words speak to me and remind me of the forgiving nature of God.

Breathe on Me by Darlene Zschech

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Love and life that makes me free.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fan the flame within me.
Teach my heart, heal my soul,
Speak the mind that in Christ we know.
Take me to your Sanctuary
Breathe on me.

Speak to me Voice of God,
Soft and still inside my heart.
Speak to me, Word of God,
Comfort, heal, restore with love.
Teach my heart, heal my soul,
Speak the mind that in Christ we know.
Take me to your Sanctuary,
Breathe on me.

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