I’m very proud of the penny floor I put down in the pantry but over the years one corner keeps turning that green patina that copper is famous for. This is due mostly because we never put epoxy over the pennies to protect them. There were several reasons we didn’t, one being that epoxy was expensive, another because I was told it really stinks and it would be going down where I keep my food, and lastly, from what I could gather, the Hubby didn’t really want to. He thought I was crazy using pennies for a floor. Well, creative people have to express themselves and it doesn’t always make sense.

 I’ve tried cleaning the pennies before with vinegar which helps but doesn’t fix. Recently, as the Hubby dozed on the couch I decided it was time to just scrape up the floor and be done with it. Plus I wanted to put the pennies back into circulation. 

I spent an hour prying up about 150 pennies (out of a whopping 6,800). I only stopped because my hips and knees pretty much insisted on it. While my body recovered, I decided to start peeling off the glue — and the paint I had put down for background — from these pennies. Oh boy, I had opened Pandora’s box! It was worse than picking fly poop out of pepper because it was also painful to my finger nails. By the time I cleaned just 10 pennies I was filled with anxiety over the remaining 140, and nearly catatonic thinking about doing 6,650 more. 

I Googled for a better way to clean them and was told to soak them in distilled water. I didn’t have any. The Hubby, awake now and not too pleased, said we did — in the basement — in the dehumidifier. All these years I’ve been buying distilled water for the vaporizer when I just had to go down cellar. Criminey!

So I thought I’d soak a few to try it but last minute decided to listen to the crackpot on my shoulder and threw them all in because loosening the glue might take a while and I didn’t want to be at this all month. 

Some pennies were easy. The glue pulled the paint right off, but others were making my already sore finger nails throb to my heart beat — which was beating pretty fast considering that the longer the pennies stayed in the water, the greener they got. I couldn’t work fast enough so I took them out and dried them off. It was like toweling down 140 children after their baths, all clamoring to be first. 

As much as the Hubby thought the floor was a dumb idea, he was not exactly pleased with what I’d started here. That’s probably because all my bright ideas end up making more work for him. Then he mentioned that he had a way to clean the green off those pennies and there had been no need to tear them up. Naturally I told him to put his money where his mouth was and prove it. He came back with one shiny penny. I was pleased. I was also wondering why he didn’t do more like 10, or even — I don’t know — 140. But there was a football game on and I could only have his attention during commercials. 

Now I had a new plan. Instead of ripping up all the pennies, I was just going to glue these back down and let the Hubby shine up the floor afterwards. He brought me the new glue gun but I couldn’t make it work. He was going to have to help. I’m no dummy, I turned the kitchen television on, gave him a plastic knife and let him “ice” the pennies while watching football and I put them in place. 

There ensued another pain filled afternoon as I repeatedly got down on my knees and up again for more pennies, racing against the clock and the drying of the glue. Near the end of it the pennies weren’t fitting. I was pushing as hard as I could and figured they would just have to lump up but the Hubby said no. He got down on his knees and worked those pennies into fine shape. 

So the pennies are staying — whether he cleans them or not — whether we go broke or not. I am too old for this now.  

debbiehough@hotmail.com

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