Monday, October 25, 2010

Kitchen's Last Day

This was our kitchen this morning, and, no, LK is not the world's untidiest housekeeper. That stuff is on the benchtop for a good reason.

Eight weeks ago we began unpacking and putting together the kitchenware. Today Linda is reversing the process and re-packing everything so the kitchen will be empty tomorrow. For that is the day it is going to the great scrapheap in the sky.

I am quite impressed with how organized my bride is. While I was running around getting the car inspected and picking up local license plates, she emptied most of the cupboards. This follows a week in which she cleared out massive amounts of cartons left over from the move in order to make room in the garage for some of the old cupboards.

LK is quite efficient, so it's no surprise to see her so much in control. But it does make me feel a tad guilty sitting here writing about how hard she is working while she is still working so hard.

But not guilty enough to stop writing, I should add.

Since the kitchen won't exist after tomorrow, this is the final chance we have to explain why we are submitting ourselves to the craziness of a renovation.

If you didn't look closely at that picture at the top, you might not have noticed the curious lack of similarity between the various cupboards.

If I were a real estate agent, I would call it "a charming, authentic multi-veneered, dual-height storage system".  But what it is, in fact, is a cheap cabinet that the last tenant put up to get A) some more storage space and B) some lower storage space since his wife couldn't reach the other cupboards. Practical, yes, but never going to win design awards.

If you look closely at the picture, you will also see just a hint of the curtains that are hanging in the kitchen and elsewhere in the living room at full length. The picture to the right shows them in all their glory. Those, too are getting replaced once we get back from our next trip.

I can offer you two pieces of evidence about how awful those curtains are: First, LK was talking to Sandy on Skype, using the webcam so they could see each other. But Sandy couldn't help herself and looked right past her sister at those curtains behind her. "Oh my God," she said in a shocked voice, "what is that behind you!"

The second proof is even more direct. I think they look awful and need to be replaced. And I never (never!) notice or care about things like that.

But back to the kitchen, here's a shot of the pantry. It's nice and tall and deep. But if you look real carefully, you will see that it doesn't hold much because, except at the top, there are no shelves going across from side to side. Just little shelves about the width of a jam jar wrapping around the sides.

Which leaves the entire middle of the pantry as empty space, not storage space. I can't even begin to figure out why you would build a pantry like that, but I have a hunch. Remember how I said the previous tenant was a short woman. I think she may have literally stepped inside the pantry in order to get the things on the narrow shelves. Or her husband used to just put her in there and shut the door when he wanted privacy. Either way it will be nice to have a pantry that actually stores your stuff for you.

On the other hand, as we get older and begin to shrink, I suppose we could end up wishing we'd held onto the short-person option.

I haven't mentioned the odd spatial things going on in the kitchen.

The benchtop and the island are about twice as far from one another as in a standard kitchen. The fridge is off on its own, so far removed from the rest of the room that you pretty much burn off half the calories of anything you get from it.

And the stovetop ended up about three feet to the right of the oven, which might be a design feature except it is pretty obvious the room has no design.

So tonight we will farewell the kitchen. Tomorrow we will run away to the downstairs room as the team comes in to demolish it. And by this time tomorrow we should have absolutely nothing in that space as it awaits the new cabinets. Only this time, we're going to try to make them match one another.

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