I was born in 1934, right after the Great Depression. Times were very hard. Money was scarce. My dad lost his three-hundred-twenty acre farm and was working in the coal mines. So when I was growing up, the operative word was “frugality.” So my parents, and everyone else made herculean efforts to make ends meet. Since there was no new kitchen linoleum coming, my mom would paint the old one about once a year. So I wrote this poem years ago: My Mom’s Painted Floor
A little dabble here, a little splotch there,
A great big splotch under dad’s old chair.
With spots and splotches of different sizes,
Every corner was filled with spotted surprises.
The old floor was yellow, not covered with brown,
The prettiest one on our whole town.
One year it was orange, and then it was green,
We went through ten or twelve colors,
Maybe even thirteen.
The new had worn off about twenty years past,
Amazing how long that darn stuff could last!
So about once a year we’d get a new look,
When mama saw one in some picture book.
She’d clean the old one real good, then without restraint,
She’d head to the store to buy some new paint.
We didn’t dare touch it for a day or two,
And if we got near it, we’d hear mama say, “shoo!”
What was this prize that Rembrandt would adore,
It was mama’s masterpiece, her linoleum floor!
If only I could walk on it once more,
Those splotches and dabbles on my mom’s painted floor.
I know up in heaven, the street’s paved with gold,
And mama’s mansion is one to behold.
It’s furnished with taste and filled with delight,
With silver and gold and precious jewels oh so bright.
But out in the kitchen is the sight I’ll adore,
The splotches and dabbles of my mom’s painted floor.