Friday, July 22, 2011

Flying By the Seat of My Cookie Sheets

They say you never really know what you've got until it's gone. But what they don't talk about is all the residual things you lose along with it. Anyone who has lived through (meaning lived in your house during) a kitchen remodelling project can understand what I mean.

We knew the kitchen would be gone--no stove, no sink, no countertops, no peace from the construction and, of course, no money. But we left out the toaster oven, dug out plastic utensils and paper plates, and filled the fridge with cold cuts. We may not be able to cook, but we still have to feed all the animals.

This all looked good on paper. But when I tried to apply it to day-to-day reality, it lost some of its fine, organized, two-dimensional sheen.

Here's what they don't tell you about a kitchen remodelling job: you have a lot more, er, stuff in your kitchen--however small your kitchen may seem--than you realize. You've just gotten really good at storing/hiding it. When you have to remove and relocate it all, while keeping portions of it somewhat accessible, you're also going to lose a lot of space in your living room, dining room, playroom, family room and mind. Because no matter how well you plan, all that visual clutter in your house can't help but clutter your mind and cause the occasional freak-out. Whether it's kids, dogs, Mom or Dad, someone will very likely be freaking out at any given moment during such a project.

Trying to be smart about it, we decided to do this during summer, when the kids were out of school and camp. What we had figured on was eating out occasionally, grilling on the porch often and eating lots of salads and sandwiches.

The same "they" who say all those smart things also say that life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. In our case, we made our plans but didn't account for a mid-July heat wave and someone staying in our guest room. Did I mention the frequent freak-outs?

A very smart friend said to me that suffering through to a new kitchen is a very high-class problem to have. And she's right. So I'm trying stay positive. Just think of how efficient this is turning out to be! Three adults, two children, two dogs, 100-degree weather and contractors finding hidden surprises at every turn (electrical, plumbing and the like)! How else could we build so much character at one time? May as well kill as many sprits as we can with one stone countertop, right?

Suffice it to say the "before" pictures are looking better and better, as we sit firmly entrenched in the middle of the "during" stage, all eagerly looking forward to the "after."

No comments: