Once upon a time, many, many years ago (more than twenty-five, I believe), my Father was on one of many business trips. This journey was special, though, because my Father purchased carpet from a woman on an airplane. Yup – only my Father would buy carpet from a STRANGER on an AIRPLANE. The woman showed him sample a few inches in size, probably buttered him up with effusive compliments about his necktie, and he ordered two rooms worth on the spot. I bet that lady STILL laughs about my Father during coffee breaks with her fellow sales people. My Mother thinks that he told her that carpeting was arriving, but she certainly did not see a sample ahead of time. It is, by far, some of the ugliest carpet EVER made. And this repulsive carpet ended up in the master bedroom and the other upstairs bedroom. Soon after the carpet was installed, my uncle was helping install one of those huge wallpaper scenes in the master bedroom – it was a vista of forest and a lake and such (my Mom says that it was the only way that she could convince my Father to give up the pictures of “Pughboy” and “Stinky” that hung above their bed for years (if you look for the originals at The Huntington Library it would be “The Blue Boy” and “Pinkie”), that he’d decoupaged and put in Mexican frames)). My uncle looked at the carpet, and said that perhaps we could pretend it was the forest floor. My Father has clung desperately to this idea ever since.

A few years ago, one room full of Forest Floor was transformed to beautiful blue ceramic tile (for my Mother’s upstairs laundry and sitting room – if you have two “bionic” knees and are facing the reality of every single major joint needing to eventually be replaced, an upstairs laundry/sitting room is great – one of the best ideas my Father ever had). But sadly, the Forest Floor languished in the master bedroom until yesterday. As of that auspicious day, with the expert help of my brother-in-law, Erik, my Father’s secretary, Erica (boy he’s lucky to have such multifaceted administrative help), and various family members (oh – also many thanks to Grettir for helping me put the furniture back into the bedroom with such manly style), a beautiful laminate floor now graces the master bedroom AND the hall. HURRAH!!! Before the carpet journeyed to the dump, I managed to snap a couple of somewhat detailed shots of The Forest Floor:

The Forest Floor

More detailed vomit.

The Forest Floor (More Detailed View)

I showed these images to my Parents. My Mother promptly exclaimed, “It looks like VOMIT!” My Father said, “I was tired of it, but now that I look at it objectively [?], it has all the beautiful colors [no “u” for THAT one] of the FOREST FLOOR.” My Mother responded, “I think this is the first time I’ve really seen how much it looks like VOMIT.” She and I both tried to impress upon my Dad that it was HIDEOUS – that is was ALWAYS hideous. He answered, “It looks like a modern painting with the beautiful colors of nature.” Such commentary went back and forth rather in the same vein. My Father rhapsodized, “What a lovely collage of natural color!” My Mother asked me, “What are you supposed to do with THAT [The Forest Floor]? How can you pick decor when you have THAT?” She would like, in fact, to pick out new paint and/or wallpaper for the room, but she’s having a horrible time making a decision about it. Today she asserted that perhaps it was because of psychological damage sustained from living with The Forest Floor for sooooo long. She’s probably right.