The raccoon won a round, but the fight wasn't over

Sandy Turner
Down home

The carpeting had served its purpose from crawling grandbabies to training puppies. It was time for it to go.

The do-it-yourself boxes of flooring arrived, and I was excited to get started. Simple to do, they said, remove old flooring and interlock planks, ta-da – new flooring is installed.

Sandy Turner

We overlooked a couple of important pieces of information to consider before committing to this project. First and foremost - our backs and knees can’t take this kind of abuse. Just getting the old carpet and staples out nearly did us in and we’re only doing one room at a time. It’s no joke when one of us said, “help me, I can’t get up.”

If I would have known there was that much dirt and dust in the carpets, I told him as we were dragging it outside, I would’ve vacuumed more often, (probably not but I had to say something). Then the thought occurred to me a non-carpeted floor was going to show every dog hair and dust ball that exists and I may actually have to vacuum every day. (It’s not that I don’t want to vacuum, but I’d rather be outside playing in the dirt than sweeping it up).

We pulled up the carpet, removed the bi-jillion staples and began the installation of the floors. No nails required, no screws, nothing but a rubber mallet and the ability to put a crossword puzzle together made out of wood planks with groves, which interlock together. The first three rows were so challenging, I thought perhaps we would be dragging the old carpet back in, at any moment.

At one point, he was so frustrated, he stood straight up, after being hunched over two pieces of planks which would join together nicely but with every hit of the rubber mallet, two other pieces, downstream, would pop out of place.

Unfortunately, the stuffed raccoon, hanging on the wall, with claws of steel were in the way of his head and nearly caused the stuffed animals’ death, again. Now with a bleeding head from a dead raccoon and wooden planks popping out all over the place, the guy who can put together anything without instructions sat down to watch an instructional video.

Apparently he wasn’t holding his mouth just right, but eventually the planks started locking and staying locked, so the work continued across the living room floor. I’m not sure how I feel about not having carpet in the front room, but the hardwood “barnwood” planks give the room a fresh, new look.

Everything is getting back into its place, including the yellow lab's hair which is showing up even more prominent than when mixed in with the carpet. It’s apparent I’m going to have to vacuum every day or close all the mini blinds so the sun never shines where the dog hairs lie.

He did a fantastic job, and I love the new floor. I’m looking for another welcome mat. It needs to say, “This home is filled with love and dog hair.”

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at