We have lived in our current house for thirteen years in December. Though this was not the first house we ever bought–that honor goes to a house in Kenosha, Wisconsin–we did buy this one after renting for three years, so it was very exciting to make plans for a few pieces of new furniture and paint colors other than “Landlord’s Choice White”.
When we first starting hunting for new home items, Jim picked out a Prairie-style recliner for the family room. We both adore the chair–if we could afford it, our entire home would look like Frank Lloyd Wright provided the furnishings himself–but I was more excited about a rug I chose for our living room, a wool rug from Pottery Barn that was covered in poppies. It was love at first sight when I saw it in the catalog and I promptly cut out the picture and stuck it into my folder of house ideas. (Pinterest, 2000.)
Knowing that I was going to have that rug if it killed me (I think it was almost as expensive as Jim’s chair), I designed the entire living room around it. I bought a poster print of a little girl walking through a field of poppies and had it framed to hang over the couch. I bought throw pillows that were in the same shade of green as the border of the rug. We recovered a chair that belonged to my grandfather in a similar green. I eventually even planted Oriental poppies in hopes that I could have a gorgeous vase full of them on a table in that room. (That was before I learned that poppies only bloom for about a week in late May: rude!)
That rug always meant so much to me. Birthday and Hanukkah gifts were opened on it. The boys played LEGOS on it. I sometimes sat and did crafts on it. We have all kinds of pictures of each of us hanging out on that rug. Even our dog, the late, great Bijoux, loved that rug. In fact, eventually we called it “Bijoux’s rug”, because she used to lay around on it, catching rays in the afternoon sun.
The rug was hers literally up until the day she died in April, 2003: the boys and I did a photo session with her on it the day before. It’s a bittersweet memory.
Over the past nine years, Roxie has enjoyed that rug immensely, even though Jim often yells at her, “Hey, get off of Bijoux’s rug!” In fact, due to the combination of the rug’s age and Roxie’s penchant for rolling around on it daily, the rug finally threw out the white flag. The last time I took it in for a professional cleaning I was told that the glue on the back was disintegrating and they wouldn’t be able to clean it again without it falling apart. I’ve done my best to keep it clean but thirteen years was about all it had to give.
Getting rid of that rug was HARD, you guys. I could say that I’m not sure which part of its story made it so difficult for me, but that would be a lie. It hurt my heart to think about replacing it. That rug was the last daily visual I had of Bijoux’s life–also thirteen years long–with us.
Here’s a picture I took yesterday. That’s Roxie on the couch.
Jim and I casually started looking for a suitable replacement that was reasonably priced, not only because we didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a new one but also because ROXIE. She’s nine and a half, and between her puppy-like behavior, her habit of rolling around on her back every morning, and the way she loves to chew her treats on the rug, an inexpensive replacement was in order.
We finally found one at Home Depot. It’s very different from the poppy rug. It’s about as different from the poppy rug as Roxie is different from Bijoux. It’s Prairie-style, which is nice, and it looks good in the room.
One of these days I’ll get used to seeing that rug in the living room, just like I got used to the idea of not having Bijoux around. Roxie has already adjusted. I think she wonders what took us so long.