I have been thinking about the stairs lately. I loved those stairs – so steep but wide too. When you opened the front door, there was a small entry, large enough for the doors into the two downstairs rooms. The stairs were directly in front of you. They split the house in equal halves and terminated at what would become our upstairs bathroom.
When we began our monumental task of cleaning, I thought the treads were painted black. Ok, if you have been following this story, you know that the stairs weren’t painted. Nope – just grime – years and years of grime.
Well, I took my bucket and scrub brush to these old worn wooden treads and risers. Using gallons of Murphy’s Oil soap and lots of elbow grease, I would slowly, one by one, beginning at the bottom, scrub on the stairs. And after a while, they began to show their stuff.
The treads were beautiful, wide planks – probably white oak or hickory. They had been worn smooth with the footsteps of the generations in the house. I was surprised to find that the lower risers had been painted a very dark brown with a red paint underneath. It would peek out occasionally through the brown paint.
After the days of scrubbing, one by one, the stairway began to shine. We never needed to varnish or poly the steps. The old wood stayed a warm and beautiful color with the grain shining through.
These steps were our first places of rest on the long days of cleaning. They remained central to the life of the house – and I hope they will remain as long as the old shack stands.
Until next time…..