She was sitting up in bed one morning when I woke up and rolled over, staring
blankly toward her toes under the quilt. I asked her what she was looking at.
"Nothing. I need a change," she answered. Ohh, boy, I thought to myself,
I hope she doesn't want to remodel the kitchen or something. She looked me
square in the eyes and paused dramatically. Then she said it. I'll never forget it:
"We need a new kitchen. I'm tired of the layout, it just doesn't work for me."
Part of me was relieved that I wasn't going to have to move into my camper, if you
know what I mean. Part of me though, the chintzy guy, silently screamed in anguish.
Chintzy Guy would reprise his anxiety from time-to-time during the month-long
planning-and-design process, shamelessly scribbling "cute" witticisms on the blueprints...
Work started while I was away on Monday, 4 April, buying my groceries for the week. The island
had been de-constructed. There was a curious loop of hot water pipe which protruded from the flooring
underneath the island. I figured it was for... well, who knows? The original builder took that secret to
his grave with him. Todd (who had coached my two sons' Little League team, years ago!) and Dick were
simultaneously demolishing the kitchen and putting the cabinets in both the laundry room and downstairs
in the new wet bar. They did in one day what would have taken me a good week to do by myself. Alissa
had contracted Jim Woods, owner of Heartland Homes, to oversee the whole job. A good choice!
I was sleeping in the cab-over camper while the guys worked in the house. I helped throw out
some of the discards so they could get on with the important stuff (inadvertently I accidentally
threw away materials they could have re-used). The plumbers, the electrician, and the flooring guys
appeared in finely coordinated order. I watched these craftsmen for clues on how to do the few things
I know how to do a little better. Alissa returned from snowboarding to a fully-functional wet bar, which
we used for basic living while the kitchen was being trimmed in. Then it was my turn to get out
of the house for a weekend (I went climbing with Squeak). While I was away, the Indian granite
countertops were installed in the kitchen, and Alissa installed a new dog door, thus moving the
animals' feeding stations out of the house. That would include the universally-despised litter box!
I don't know the two gentlemen who installed the granite, but they were very nice and they did a great job.
When I returned from climbing four days later, Alissa was already filling cupboards and drawers with her
kitchenwares. Bill the Electrician took a couple of days (half days, actually. Again, he had more than one
job going at a time) to wire up the kitchen. Once we had lighting, it was easier for Todd to finish trimming
out the cabinets. Jim Woods stopped by for one last time a few hours after Todd was finished to admire it all.
So, we now have the change that Alissa was talking about. One of her favorite features is the
base cabinet which houses her Kitchenaid mixer: she opens the door, swings the mixer out and up
on its integral platform, where it is already connected to its own electrical supply. She opens a drawer
behind her, scoops out flour, sugar or whatever she's mixing, reaches for a cup of water, pulls any
spices she needs from the sliding spice rack right beside the mixer... all of these things save her
seconds, minutes, and cumulatively hours. In fact, as I am composing this web page, she is baking
a pound cake in one oven, a brisket in the other oven, and proofreading my last posting...
And Chintzy Guy? He's just glad it got done... and he really doesn't say much...
Copyright 2011 EBBoykinJr
All Rights Reserved
Thanks to all the craftsmen who made this all a reality!