Thursday, January 24, 2007
I was in Chicago from Wednesday to Sunday. While I was gone, I almost forgot that, back home in Minnesota, my house had no kitchen. When I got back (the plane was late because they had overfueled and couldn't locate the truck that had a big hose to take the fuel out, but that's another story), I could no longer it wasn't happening. Our carpenters, Susanne
had done a good job tearing everything up while I was gone.
They took out the door that goes nowhere, and framed it in for cabinets and the new oven.
The other doorway--the one that leads outside and to the basement--was moved about eighteen inches to the right and the new doorway was framed in. The plan here is to make use of a little area that's outside the kitchen and try to make it seem like part of it. I have never quite understood how all this is supposed to work, but other people seem to, so I am willing to take it on faith.
When I came home from the airport, I tried to turn on the kitchen light to see what was going on. Because there was no wall to speak of, there was no wall switch. I knew that the light still worked, so I searched for the switch. I found it when I ran into it.
You can really see the innards of the house. It's disconcerting, to tell the truth, because it all looks very insubstantial. I think of our house as old but sturdily built. Under the plaster, it doesn't look all that sturdy. In fact, it looks like somebody just picked up a bunch of wood and started nailing pieces together more or less at random. I'll be glad when it's covered up again, and I can once more tell myself that they just don't make houses like they used to.
Hidden somewhere in the wall was an old, empty bottle of denatured alcohol. The label warns that it is not to be taken internally. I have a strong suspicion that someone was taking it internally and had to quickly stuff it in the wall as he (or she) was about to be found out.
Here is a view of the deconstructed kitchen from the center hallway:
On Monday, the cabinets and the appliances were removed. No more refrigerator, no more sink, no more dishwasher.
There are no more cabinets now, and no more cobalt blue formica.
The kitchen always looked small. Without cabinets and appliances, though, it looks tiny! I start to second-guess myself. Maybe we should have done a bigger project, with a two-story addition, allowing for a bigger kitchen and another room upstairs. But then I remember that this would have added well over $100,000 to the project and would have meant that I could not afford to retire until I'm 92. The teeny kitchen doesn't seem so bad after all.
Yesterday, they tore up all the flooring, but we can still walk through the kitchen because they put big pieces of plywood over the holes that are now where our kitchen floor once was.
This is Adam, our project manager. He stops by every day to check on the progress. So far, he seems very calm. If he starts looking harried, I will start to worry.