The Family Kitchen

1970'sI grew up in the 60’s and 70’s with my teen years in the later.  In my family, we didn’t have contractors to the house when something needed done.  We did it ourselves.  More accurately, my dad did it with me as his right-hand man.  The entire house was carpeted for those chilly  winters because my mother didn’t like cold, bare floors.  She did a lot of vacuuming, but never really cleaned the carpets.  It would have been to have a carpet cleaning service in Birmingham back then.

Having carpets professionally cleaned is important for various reasons.  Vacuuming doesn’t get out all of the dirt.  Then, there’s dust mites and bacteria.  When you have carpeting in the kitchen, spills are unavoidable.  They always seemed to cause a conniption from Mom.  And bathroom carpet?  Do I need to explain that?  Anyway, bacteria and allergens are often trapped in carpet fibers and cause health issues.  My family never seemed to trace it to the carpet.

My little brother was all boy.  One evening, my mother smelled something burning.  Searching the house, she came to the downstairs bathroom and found her four year old crouching by the toilet admiring a funny swirling pattern in the carpet.  He had sprayed hairspray on the carpet and lit it on fire with Dad’s lighter.  What did they do to punish him?  I’d like to say they “wore him out” but he was four and he wasn’t me.  They just yelled at him and made him cry. Then, they forbade anyone from talking about it because he was sensitive and would cry again.  Poor baby.  Moral of the story: If you have a boy in the family, use tile or linoleum.

It’s funny how you spend years and never think about things.  I never knew that having carpet in the kitchen and bathrooms wasn’t normal until I became a real estate agent.  I had shown hundreds of homes to families and then, one day, it dawned on me: None of them had carpeting in those rooms.

Most homes have hardwood flooring throughout, with vinyl or ceramic tile in the kitchen and baths.  Tile is also prevalent in entrance ways and laundry rooms. It’s easy to clean and sanitize.  If there’s carpet, it’s in bedrooms and the den or family room.  Many homes have giant rugs in the middle of the family room that’s easily rolled-up and replaced.

I was kind of surprised that I was in my forties before I realized that carpeting an entire home is not normal.  When I go to visit my mom, there’s still carpet everywhere.  It makes me want to call the carpet cleaners and have the whole two story house cleaned.

My nose is plugging up just thinking about it.