Five months without a kitchen: Almost. There.

December 2014 was the

Last time we

Drew water out of our

Kitchen sink.

For five months,

While Joe completely

Renovated our kitchen

Down to the studs,

We’ve been

“Cooking”

In the dining room:

The old yucky white fridge

In front of the window,

A borrowed microwave

On the buffet,

Its extension cord

Stretched across the

Doorway into the kitchen,

Our water source the

Bathroom sink.

“It’s kinda cozy,”

My stepson remarked

Back in January,

And at that time,

I actually

Agreed.

Our temporary kitchen

Surrounded our

Dining room table

Family-farm style,

And that area became the

Locus of the house

Since both the kitchen

And basement,

Which is through the kitchen,

Were off limits.

Our family

Consolidated well.

For all my

Yearning for

Suburban-scale

Square footage on our

Little urban plot,

We did okay with our

House essentially

Halved.

Through this process,

I learned a few things.

One: Joe and I have

Vastly different

Decorating styles;

Choosing cabinets,

Paint, flooring and tile

Became an exercise in me

Reigning in Joe’s

One-off wildness–

Fire-engine red cabinets!

Hammered copper ceiling tiles!

A tangerine accent wall!

A $3,000 built-in coffee station!

I felt badly

Quashing his ideas

One by one,

Like the ants that used to

Emerge one after the other to

Plod across our

Old kitchen floor,

But I promised him a

Man cave someday to

Freebird-decorate

Without interference.

A few more things I learned

From the experience:

  • Water out of the

Bathroom sink

Is

Better.

  • Crockpot cooking

At first seems like a

Miracle–

Why don’t we do this

Always?–

But the novelty fades as you’re

Crouched on the

Edge of the bathtub,

Scrubbing burnt cheese out of the

Ceramic insert.

  • Disposable plates and

Silverware are a

Gift from God.

  • Frozen lasagne is

Also a gift from God,

Although I’ll give it a

“Thanks but no thanks”

For the next, say,

10 years.

  • Without the structure of a

Kitchen,

I devolve into a

Snacker,

Cobbling together “meals” from

Crackers and

Candy and

I don’t even know what else.

  • Joe just pretty much

Stops eating,

Subsisting on Clif bars–

When he could get to them

Before the kids heard me

Accidentally utter the words

“Clif bar”–

And can after can of

LaCroix sparkling water,

Our new beer.

The critical lesson from all this

Has been about

Our friends’

Generosity.

This renovation was

Supposed to have been

Done by a contractor friend,

Who started the job,

Tearing out our appliances and

Demoing our old kitchen down

To the lathe.

He then

Disappeared into his addiction

Leaving Joe and me to

Cope with the

Biggest crisis of our

Marriage.

When we told our friends

What had happened,

We got more offers for

Help than we

Could have possibly

Taken people up on:

Frozen lasagne and

Crockpots full of stew,

Electricians,

Plumbers,

Contractors,

Handy guys.

All Joe had to do was

Ask,

And a friend and

His tools were

There for us.

We were hurt by one

But helped by many,

Which is,

I’m starting to think,

How life kinda works.

And we’re

Deeply grateful for the

Whole

Experience.

Especially the

Amazing new kitchen

My husband,

The most competent man I’ve ever known,

Built with his own hands and with

Help from his friends.

Herewith,

His handiwork:

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