Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Oh, Those Hardwood Floors

I want to thank those who encouraged me in keeping my hardwood floors instead of sewing the carpet scraps back together to tack back onto my floor.

I'm growing accustomed to it now.

I discovered the Swiffer Wetjet tonight. (It took me at least an hour to learn how to use it because it didn't come with a manual and I later realized by going to their website that it needed batteries!) But .. now a few hours later, I am amazed and delighted at my shiny new/old floors.

It is looking wonderful. (I'm saying this to those who will never see it in person, of course). :O)

Back when I was 10 or 11 or so, I remember my friend, Jenny, who's mother was always cleaning their hardwood floors. She would use a mop that looked like Tina Turner (from behind ... and on her head). She worked at it endlessly it seemed. And they sure seemed shiny. I remember thinking I wanted to play roller derby on it.

One afternoon, when she left to call the numbers on a Bingo game, Jenny chalked up a track around the living room and dining room, cued up Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and half the neighborhood took off on wheels.

Jenny and I grabbed a few old abaloni shells from their backyard and put it on our heads for helmets. The others followed suit. Soon we were a team. And then we were a game.

I was on the team called the Bay City Bombers. It was an Oakland, California team and I was "Joanie Weston" the Marilyn Monroe athlete in those days, I guess. We played crazy fun. I remember feeling my heart beat not just in my chest but in my head and neck and arms and hands as I madly sailed along on my skates, exhilerated beyond breath, around Jenny's living room pushing down on Paul and Todd and Brett and Jimmy and Cindy and Kim's head or shoulder away and onto the floor beneath me.

It was an unusually, crazy, unbridled fun for me, because inside my own home -- even a single dirty finger print against the back door could prove some sort of punishment.

If just for the four or eight minutes we played, I was insanely happy and knew if I died, I would die a happy child. But guess what? Jenny's mom returned.

She forgot that little bingo machine that resembled a hamster run, where you rolled the spinner and the balls would bounce and spin and eventually pop up after a long endless spin. And when she saw us all skating and pushing each other around, we were all sent home.

I was so nervous. I wiped the sweat off my forehead and pleaded with Mrs. Peterson not to tell my parents that I roller-skated on their floor.. to perhaps inform them that I was actually a crowd participant... and in doing so, I promised I would gather up any money she saw fit to repair the scratches on her floor. She remained silent when she dropped me off the front of my home. I threw a kiss and bowed.

She turned her face, without saying a word, and put her foot on the gas of her woody station wagon and headed on home with little Jenny sitting in the back seat.. her blonde hair blowing back from the open window.

It's now hard not to remember when I'm cleaning up my own floors and listening to Tina Turner..... I wonder whatever happened to little Jenny and her mother's floors... and the rest of our old roller derby team?

I miss you and the ol' team. I've got a new floor and I'm ready to play!!


Janet said...

Oh no! Did you ever go back to Jennys house again?
When I was a kid, my brother and I skated in all of the new homes being built in our neighborhood. They only had the sub floors in, and no hardwood yet.We climbed through a few laundry chutes, too.Of course the ones with the big cement basement floors were the best!
I remember a girl named Kathy Jo getting off of the school bus (with her skates in hand) at my stop one day, so we could spend the afternoon skating in houses.

danny said...

What a funny story! And all those memories...I remember the Bay Bombers with Joanie Weston and Charlie O'Connell and all those guys.
I wish I grew up in your neighborhood, it sounded like a lot of fun!

Tammie said...

This made me laugh out loud. I always love reading your stuff because I can really identify with your stories and I shake my head and just say, "Yeah, I know how you felt".

Rayne said...

OMG! This is so funny!
A word of warning of swiffer wet jet... right after doing my hardwood floors (is it proper to just say 'wood' or does it have to be hardwood?) anyway, right after they dry, do NOT walk on them with just socks! Especially when carrying the dog's water dish. Unless someone is standing by with a camera ready. If you are going to do something spectacular like I did, it really should be recorded for posterity.

ValGalArt said...

i remember the Bay City Bombers too! My best friend Cindy Mchenry was a Roller Derby Maniac!!! What a wonderful nostalgic post!!! And i to skated in new homes being built like Janet! Aaah the memories...