North of Boston and grateful
In the spirit of one-word titles, here’s mine on renewal. I should have named it Renovation, or perhaps Celebration. The kitchen in my 1880 home is on its way to being finished. It’s been in a state of dysfunction, plaster dust, and huge mess for a couple of months. We were in the dreaded water-free zone for the last four weeks, washing dishes in the bathtub (which at least is only a few yards away from the kitchen).
The old kitchen had last been updated in 1967, with homemade wooden cabinets, now-outdated electric ovens, and decor to match. The countertop was newer than that. We don’t know when the extension to the back of the house was added, but probably before 1950 and likely in the early 1900s. When we bought the house in the summer of 2012, the kitchen had small windows, drawers that didn’t slide well, mouse droppings under the sink, and just wasn’t to our taste.
This is our last house, so we wanted a nice kitchen. My talented beau Hugh started demolishing. We ordered cabinets, new applicances, and bigger windows. We gave away the old ovens and some cabinets. We took out a wall so the kitchen will be a continuous space with the sitting room. We designed a new laundry area right near the back door, since I’m a clothesline maniac.
But what does this have to do with writing a book?
I’m a bit more than halfway through writing the first draft of Farmed and Dangerous, the third Local Foods mystery. It’s a work in progress. Some days a lot gets done, some days almost nothing. It’s my job, to write this book. I work on it every week day and sometimes on the weekend. I celebrate when it’s finished.
The kitchen is exactly the same. It’s a work in progress. Hugh does most of the work, and we hire a plumber and an electrician to do what he can’t or isn’t supposed to in the eyes of the home inspector. Some days we see lots of progress. Other days it stalls out. The work always takes longer than you think it will. And it’s not done yet. But look how pretty it is so far. It’s a real joy to have actual counter tops, actual cabinets, and actual running water again. A few items are yet to be completed: the island top, the floor, the ceiling. But it’s up and running for cooking and storage and I am thrilled. We’re going to truly inaugurate it by cooking and serving Thanksgiving dinner for a dozen in a couple of weeks. And yes, we celebrated the return of a sink and a working faucet!
What’s your renovation story? How do you celebrate the end of a long job? What kind of renewal have you been up to lately?