COVERED IN MEMORIES
I’ve written about such foolish things before. Stories about “stuff.”
I am a sentimental man. Notice I didn’t say sentimental “Old” man.
Truthfully, I’ve been this way all of my life.
I get attached to things in my life. Not for the sake of owning many
things, but I feel this natural connection to all parts of life. So
writing about my furnace, my trees, my frogs comes natural to me.
So this will come as no surprise that I am feeling weary about
I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that we’ve had this carpet for
almost 16 years.
We’ve taken good care of it. It was guaranteed for just about that
long so having kept it until the end of the warranty really makes
On Saturday they will come and take it away. They will literally rip
it up and throw it out the window.
Yes, they are replacing it. But, it just won’t be the same. You see,
there are a lot of memories in that carpet.
From where I am sitting right now I can look out a window at the top
of our stairs. For more than a dozen of those years, my view would
include our Old English sheepdog, Daisy, leaning against that wall.
Sometimes lying just below the window, she would keep sentry watch
over both myself sitting at this computer and Marianne downstairs.
After having to put her to sleep, I painfully sat looking at that
empty spot for many months.
My father carefully climbed those carpet covered stairs every time he
visited us. I begged him to sleep over Christmas Eve of 1997 to
relive some childhood memories of waking Christmas morn and find him
“I can’t climb those stairs any more, Bob,” he told me.
“But they’re carpeted, Pop!”
He died in July 1998.
Just behind me, I can see a deep, dark blue ink stain. That came when
one of Evan’s friends slept over. Neither one would admit to having
any knowledge of how it happened. I couldn’t get it out of the
carpet. Now I’m glad.
I can easily remember laughing hysterically as we watched our new
puppies, Ricky and Lucy, try desperately to make their way up and down
those stairs. It was the carpeting that made those first steps a bit
easier for them.
I have sat on the floor just outside our bedroom many nights after
finding out that my wife had cancer.
Head bowed close to the floor, those fibers caught many of my tears of
anguish and fear.
Friends, family, neighbors and a few paramedics have all left their
Drinks spilled, bits and pieces of dog treats, and cookies in the
kid’s room have all been a part of that carpet at some time.
If you look close enough you’ll see two well worn spots just inside
the door on the right. That’s where my boys slept until they grew too
old to want to sleep here any more.
I call them “Prayer Marks.” I knelt there many years as I listened
to “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Guard me through a starry night. Wake me up at morning’s light.”
Then it was followed by an ever growing list of people they wanted to
Not that they were such wonderful kids. The list grew because the
longer they prayed the later they could stay up. It took me years to
So Saturday they will come and haul it all away.
On Friday evening I will walk barefoot over every inch of this old
friend. In some silly, abstract way, I hope to connect one more time
with bits and pieces of my life…Daisy at the top of the stairs, Pop
climbing them and Keith and Evan lying here next to me.
When no one’s looking I’ll sneak a small piece of it and tuck it away
for those days when I need to feel close to them all again.
Maybe the new carpet will bring new memories and more happy times.
Right now, I think I’ll go lie down in the hallway before it’s too
It’s “Covered in Memories.”
copyright 2005 Bob Perks I encourage you to share my stories with
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