If all goes according to schedule our new kitchen cabinets should be installed this week. That clears the way for the counter people to come and take measurements. It will be another three to five weeks before those and our new sink are installed. In the meantime, kitchen cabinets have blocked off our dining room; there’s duck defrosting in the powder room vanity and we’re going through paper plates like there’s no tomorrow.
A few readers have commented on how we’ve still been able to crank out some good meals in the midst of the renovation. Truth be told, we’ve eaten lots of take out and restaurant meals, lots of deli food (see grainy smart phone photo above) and made use of our grill. The worst few days were when the oven was unplugged while Greg and his father laid tile. The refrigerator, a new dishwasher, vent hood and an outdoor table were all crammed into our living room, along with a kitchen buffet and the contents of our pantry. For someone who likes order, the worst parts of undergoing a renovation have been the futile efforts to keep the house clean and the constant need to move things. I’m grateful we have ample space. After living in far smaller abodes, 1,800 or so square feet has always felt a bit spacious for just the two of us.
I’m also grateful that my father-in-law was willing to spend nearly two weeks helping Greg mix cement, patch drywall, hang new doors and a host of other jobs that were tedious, long and backbreaking. Greg’s cracked hands are rougher than sandpaper. For a few days almost every one of his fingertips were wrapped in bandages. Working with a water saw when it’s 30 degrees outside can wreak havoc on the skin. His knees are also red and rough from the days spent crouched on them. His dad wears knee pads, but Greg is still young and, as Frank says, stubborn. While we normally have mild winters, almost every job that required outdoor work fell on a day that it was freezing and damp outside. On the days the sun shone and it felt like spring, Greg and his dad were hunkered indoors grouting or finding a connection up in the attic. While Greg and his father demonstrated their skills in carpentry, plumbing and cursing, I crunched numbers, tried to sort out what to feed everyone — in a pinch one can make hummus in the living room — and spent an entire day shuttling down the street to a friend’s house to do laundry. (Our washer and dryer were pulled out during the tiling work.) When I remarked at how hard they’d worked one day and that all I’d managed to do was laundry and housework, Greg’s dad said that it all needed to get done.
For now, things are all done our end. That just leaves the waiting and for me that’s the hardest part.