Monday, February 21, 2011

preserving the stains

i cleaned on saturday morning. that kind of deep clean that takes a few hours. i opened all the blinds, turned up ray lamontagne on pandora, and got to work in the sunshine. feeling like my mama and my grandma with my spray bottle and washrag.

and it was good. it was fulfilling and easygoing and productive. but i tell you, there are few things more fabulous than relaxing on the couch, taking in a clean home, putting your feet on a freshly dusted table and just stopping. satisfied that the work is done. i took in that moment. turned to face the sunshine smiling down on me, and laid my head on a floral pillow.

then i looked down.

at my couch. and saw the stains. the spots and scratches. the smudges and smears. and my heart sank. it didn't matter how much i vacuumed the rug it sat on, or mopped the floor around it, that couch wasn't going to look any better. i've cleaned it, scrubbed it and swept the crumbs out of its deep folds and crevices. but it's still marred.

i gave in to a little pity party by myself in the morning light. then i thought some more.

about the late afternoon in september when we first brought the couch home. to our first house on the grassy cul-de-sac. on the back of robert's grandfather's truck, on a wooden trailer. it took three grown men to carry the sectional inside the doorframe. the same doorframe robert carried me over as a newlywed. and later, when we moved into the little cottage, taking the couch apart piece by piece and spending an entire night trying to fit it into our new tiny living room, collapsing into exhaustion, frustration and laughter on the cold floor.

and i thought about the late nights in both houses. staying up far  past a reasonable hour just to be with each other, to soak up this new sleepover called marriage. the movies we watched nestled into it, and the greasy popcorn we devoured on its arms.

when we first got pablo, he was shaved and cold. we wrapped him up in a big crocheted blanked and let him sleep on the chaise lounge portion. that's still his favorite spot. a majority of the stains are from his dirty, wet paws. his licks and his nose nudges spattered all over.

so my couch is stained, but all is not lost.




all is not lost, indeed.

one day, we will inevitably get rid of that sofa, the one the salesman said would "wear like iron." we'll replace it with a new one, and make new memories on its cushions. but saturday morning, with noon rising outside and a little bird perched outside my window,

this couch was impeccable.

19 comments:

Tales of a Hockey Wife said...

Great post, I get frustrated with my kids when they take the cushions off the ouch and build forts, etc. I think I will take a moment to realize the fun memories they are creating...not just the mess on the floor.

Cheers!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

That last photo of Pablo is adorable, makes me think I wouldn't care what stains were on the couch either. There are dog slobber marks all over the back of my car that use to drive me crazy but since we lost our dog last summer, I treasure them.

Blondie's Journal said...

Your couch plays a big part in your memories, as does mine and every piece of furniture and object in my home. Our couch became faded not long after we bought it. Not from the sun, just from where we sat. At first I was angry at the craftsmanship, then I came to love looking at it, especially in the sunlight. It looks like it has been in our family for 100 years and I love it this way more!

XO,
Jane

Amber Blue Bird said...

i love a day of cleaning, it really frees up my mind and puts me in a great mood plus the satisfaction after all that cleaning always bring a smile to my face. Our pup along with just life has stained up our couches pretty well but there is only so much a person can do.

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

Sometimes it's easy to forget how stains or even wrinkles contain so many memories. And honestly, aren't you glad you lived in your house and on your couch rather than cover it in plastic and forbid people to sit on it? That's the way life should be: lived with great enthusiasm and focused on creating memories.

Jenni said...

Oh Courtney... you have such a talent. You have the ability to draw a reader in, make them feel what you feel - evoke emotion - even over a silly stained couch! I love your style. And I understand about the couch... we've only had ours a year, but it is already stained from dirty little paws because we can't seem to say no to those furry little faces. :) All I can say is that maybe we should both invest in a good upholstery cleaner. ;)

Shalyn said...

Love this post! I LOVE cleaning. Love it. I am a bit OCD, though so when I can't get things perfect I get a little solemn! I need to remember that these are memories and I need not obsess over stains on the carpet!

b. lee said...

luv this line ... "to soak up this new sleepover called marriage" ...

charla beth :) said...

wow, what a beautiful post.

i don't even know you, but from what you write, i love your heart. your ability to see such purity and love in the simplest of things is remarkable. stains and scars and imperfections do often tell a remarkable story. thank you for reminding me that, you brightened my day!

the southern hostess said...

It's good to like at old, worn things through eyes like yours. I'll be making a point to do it this week.

Haley K said...

You have such a wonderful perspective of life...your optimism is contagious :) Thank you for this sweet post!! Every stain has a story, and i say perfection is boring ;)

Ana* said...

you're a phenomenal writer. this post is so detailed, I felt as if I was around your house when you were cleaning.

Jessica said...

That pup is just too cute.

I have the same issue with my couch from my pups drool but I wouldn't exchange it for anything. ;)

Kimbirdy said...

when i was growing up my mom had a white couch that she loved. no one could ever sit on it though because she didn't want it to get dirty. i never understood the point of having something that couldn't be involved with life. LIVING is full of dirt and stains, which represent stories, which represent joyful memories. i love this post, and it makes such a great analogy for so many other things in life. thanks for this!

Emily said...

I love how you always find something positive in everything! Great post! Its really all about looking at the positive instead of the negative.

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

Aww very cute post! It's so true though. Things may not be as new and clean as they once were, but the memories they show more than make up for it.

LesleyRH said...

I love this post! Of course, I also found stains on my couch and scratches as well from my two fur babies--my cats. But, it becomes their stuff as well as soon as it enters my house so I can't be angry about it.

Diana Smith said...

I know...we have a tan sectional and I am not so fond of it now that we have a baby!! Oh well we will get a new one eventually too!


The Smith Circle

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

you sure hit it right with that factuality!!! whenever i've done a complete clean i keep going back in each room just to take it all in myself. such a great feeling of perfect organized purity. for spirit and for polished sparkle.

but your memory-filled sofa, now that's a pretty special thing. the way you see it for all that it is, much more than any ordinary immaculate plush. now like the lines on our very own faces, it represents a capture of all sorts of love.

beautiful post courtney and pablo is such a cutie in that photo!!! ♥

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