It all started so seemingly simply:
A new microwave.
We’d lived for years with the traditional microwave-over-the-range setup, it only made sense to us.
Plus, even though you would never have said our Cornfields kitchen was spacious . . . Mimi’s kitchen workspace cut that figure in half. Or more. So. To me, having it on the countertop was stealing valuable counter-top space. Knobby, he was constantly peeved b/c the position beside the kitchen sink somehow always means there are things piled in the way of it.
(This was before the new dishwasher. And the new light over the sink.)
(But this is seriously all of the kitchen. There are no more counter-tops hidden around the corner. The 60s must have been such a simpler kitchen time.)
He kept making little comments. He kept nudging me about it. I at first tried to defend it, but eventually it wore me down. Of course I wanted it off the counter, too. Of course I wanted to save space wherever I could.
So . . . we bought it. It arrived Monday and we picked it up, brought it home, started demolition to install it at ten o’clock that night.
I believe I said this in the previous entry, but let me stress it again for you:
Do not begin demolition at ten o’clock at night. Just don’t.
I’ve said it countless times — in our house, our roles are pretty defined. I come up with the looks or the features, the layout and the organization . . . and he tells me if it’s possible, what it will take, and how distant my imagination is from reality.
(He gets to have input on design, sure, and features . . . and he has some great ideas for features (motion sensor lights) . . . but all in all, he has no interest in how things look and prefers to leave all the responsibility of that to me. And that’s great, because I have witnessed the struggle between husband and wife duos where they both have STRONG opinions on their designs . . . and they are polar opposites. No, I am grateful that we are so set in our roles here.)
But suddenly, now that we were all in the middle of ripping out the cabinet above that range hood . . . suddenly his information about what this installation would entail was getting MUCH more complicated.
Me . . . I went into this feeling like I had his assurance that this was a simple little project. Oh, sure, I was in a little denial, because I mostly knew those cabinets above would have to come out, because the clearance was likely too little. But when he threw up no big red flags on it . . . I honestly thought no more about it. Wishful thinking, I suppose.
Now, in the midst of all these crowbars and hammerings and dust and splinters and nails flying everywhere, now there was all this talk of braces and how to cover those, and did I really expect him to just HANG it on the wall there and stare up the baffle box all unfinished like that? Did I really expect him to do all this finish work to make this tiny little shelf above it, all that work for just a tiny shelf?
And in the face of all the questioning about all this technical stuff that I thought had been already solved by the person who actually understood that side of the should-have-been-simple-microwave-installation . . . I DON’T KNOW.
I couldn’t even walk around my kitchen without stepping on all the extension cords for the shop vac and construction lights, and all these pieces of range hood and microwave and boxes and styrofoam and all the stuff that was in that cabinet which used to hang on the wall. How could I begin to think about these things and make decisions when there was not one millimeter of clean surface in this blasted kitchen???
So there we were, eleven thirty on a Monday night, sitting in our living room. One of us was in the depths of despair, the other was researching costs of total kitchen renovation. I’ll let you decide for yourself who we were.
Those numbers were scary.
Honestly, as much as I can pin gorgeous kitchens up on the Pinterest all the livelong day . . . facing the actual prospect of being told “GO” to design them is way too daunting. Surprising, really, because usually I have a much better handle on these things. But. Let’s be realistic . . . we are NOT embarking upon ANY kitchen renovation any time soon.
In the heat of the demolition, though, we’d sped straight through from initial “oh, we’ll just hammer this microwave up” to intermediate “hey, while we’re tearing this stuff down, want to take out the tall pantry cabinet so that Garm’s refrigerator could fit in the proper cubby?” (it is about two inches too wide currently) . . . to uberspeedlevel “LET’S TEAR OUT ALL THE CABINETS!”.
But no. Even in our fatigue we didn’t go crazy, and I padded downstairs reluctantly yesterday morning to this rather controlled scene of destruction.
I managed to crop this in a way which spares you from seeing the explosion throughout the rest of the kitchen and then spilling out into the dining area. You’re welcome.
It doesn’t look half as desperate here, as it seems.
Last night, I had cleaned up all the cabinet detritus enough to cobble together dinner for Knobby, while he stayed far away from any microwave-related thoughts . . . and put together our new stairs.
You may remember that we (he) took down the mighty stair landing creation, a few months ago.
When Garm and PopPop visited a few weeks ago, they were concerned that we were dragging our heels on replacing it, since we were by then used to living with our trashy-esque “temporary” cement block solution.
Garm was especially concerned that in my increasingly handicapped state, I wouldn’t be able to get down from the doorway. Probably very true.
PopPop drew out a little design and cut all the boards for steps at his house. He didn’t put them together, because he was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to fit them in the car if assembled. Good thinking.
So after another trip to HomeDepot, where we picked up concrete drill bits and the makings of some makeshift cabinetry carpentry replacement . . . we now have proper stairs.
Thank you, PopPop and Garm.