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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Be Careful What You Ask For...

Be Careful What You Ask For

The first week was spent looking at the floor and admiring it. Gone is the dirty carpet -- gone to used carpet heaven, or wherever it is that worn-out carpeting goes when it dies. Gone is the dust that accumulated over the years in spite of all attempts to vacuum and steam clean it away. Gone are the musty smells and spots from years of spills and accidents.

Free at last, I thought. Free from dirty rugs. No more being held hostage by the dust mites that time has forgotten. It's true, but there are some differences between carpets and hardwood, differences I had not anticipated.

The noise is difference number one. We installed an insulation blanket under the hardwood to help with the noise. Thank goodness. I can only imagine if we had not. We still have an echo.

The carpet muffled sound. Now every thing seems so loud. I can hear someone talking in another room. The television blasts as sound bounces from wall to wall. The cat's meow is like the roar of a lion and I can hear bumps on the floor when someone walks. The house is like a small gymnasium or bowling alley.

And there is dust. I don't know where dust comes from. Granted, there is less than before. But whatever dust there is has nowhere to go. It cannot sink into the nap of the rug and hide. It settles on the floor and stays there until you sweep or dust mop.

I never imagined that the floor was so dirty, but now I cannot deny it. The evidence is right there on the dust mop, along with crumbles and tiny pieces of who-knows-what that have to be swept into a dust pan. What is that stuff anyhow? No wonder the rug was dirty.

And then there are foozles, little balls of dust or cat hair that blow across the floor like tiny tumble weeds. Some of them are captured with my dust mop frenzies. Others are pulled to the furnace vent. The other day I removed half a cat from the steel furnace grid, minus claws and eyes.

Like noise, light seems to reflect more. There are glares on the floor and glares on the TV screen that never existed before. I have to keep the curtains closed or wear sunglasses. A clean floor reflecting like a mirror makes everything else look old and dirty. I wore out two Magic Erasers cleaning the walls and baseboards. I hadn't even noticed they needed it before.

While we don't need ice skates to navigate the hall, the slickness still seems to bother the pets. The cat's back end may skid while making a fast turn and the dog can no longer jump around as his back legs spin and he can get traction. That might not be such a bad thing, but he seems so sad, like an old dog with arthritis instead of a pup.

Wood is hard and unforgiving. I've already dropped a glass and had it shatter everywhere. Of course, you can't expect to drop a glass and not have it break, but with the new floor, it smashes into smithereens. And I better be careful cleaning it up or I might scratch the new floor.

The coldness feels good now since it is summer. Maybe the insulation under the wood will help this winter. If not I will need to get in the habit of wearing house shoes. I guess I'll get used to it after a while. I had just grown lazy and comfortable with the dirty old carpet.

Now with new floors, I feel obligated to keep things nice and clean. Which reminds me; I haven't dust mopped today. Where's that wood cleaner spray? I think I see a smudge over there in front of the door.

Be careful what you ask for ... you might get it ... and then you have to keep it clean.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss


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