Thursday, May 17, 2012

Did I Catch You At a Good Time?

I think Dave and the editor of This Old House magazine are working together.

Yesterday, I stared at the walls and cabinets in the kitchen/dining room for hours moving from seat to seat examining the space from every angle. The wheels in my head were turning. In between reading Lego stories to Davison, who spent quite a bit of time sitting on my lap, I referred to copies of my favorite magazines for design inspiration.

Finally, the layout started coming together in my head and a plan formulated. However, there was one problem. I had to remove a 6 foot section of cabinet and counter top that was breaking up the space and distracting me. I grabbed the circular saw, lined up the blade with the top of the counter, and heard Dave's car pull into the driveway.

"I'm busted," I thought.

Dave walked around the corner wearing his flight suit and heavy flight boots. He and looked at me with a curious smile. I smiled back saw-in-hand, kissed him hello, and said,

"Did a little birdie tell you to hurry home because your wife was about to cut stuff apart in the kitchen?"  I asked.

After giving him a brief summary of my plan, the phone rang.  It was This Old House magazine. The editor started off the call by stating that I didn't win the Reader Remodel Contest. (Bummer, no new truck for me.) Then he explained that some notable stories are being mentioned in the July "Reveal Issue" and ours is one of them.

"You're a military family that has moved 12 times in 18 years and just bought your forever home, right?" He asked.

"Yes, that's us," I answered.

"Did I catch you at a good time?"

My thought at that point was that there is never a good time for a mother of 7 kids to talk on the phone. As soon as the headset hits my ear all hell breaks loose in the house.

"It's as good of a time as any," I answered. "My husband is probably pretty happy that you just called because I was about to attack the kitchen counters with a circular saw when the phone rang." 

It only made sense that they were working together. The magazine dialed me to offer a distraction so Dave could take over the demolition-the right way.

He started laughing; really, really laughing. In between laughs, and breaths, he said,

"What did you say?"

"Oh, I'm not kidding," I answered. "I was just about to cut apart the kitchen counters to move some cabinets when my husband pulled into the driveway from work. Then the phone rang. Now I am out here talking to you while my husband is on his back on the kitchen floor half way in a cabinet trying to figure out if I am going to chop through any electrical. He is still in his uniform so only his boots are sticking out. Some stay at home mothers cook in the kitchen. That's not me."

He asked me some general questions about the house and our many moves over the past 18 years in the Navy. He wanted to know what the kids said when they saw the house for the first time.

"They thought it was disgusting," I told him.

Then we hung up.

The phone call stalled me long enough for Dave to spend some time alone in kitchen, making sense of the newly proposed layout.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Dave asked.

Believe it or not, he is a little more cautious than I am.

I gave him the look that means less talking, more cutting. He took over; under my direction of course. And the kitchen renovation began. As the walls came down and cabinets found new spaces in the room, things started coming together. We make a good team. Here are pictures of the progress.

The closed-up kitchen just days after we moved in.
In great shape but in need of updating.

The space is now opened up and bright. (Blurry picture, sorry.)
Of course we still have to upgrade everything but at least the layout is coming together.
The glowing white light at the far back is a window that will soon be a slider.