when old is new again

Craigslist sellers have a few words and pictures to grab a shopper’s attention like “Mid-Century modern”. At my age I could be classified that myself, but to me, it is another way of saying “dated”. In our home the last nineteen years, but for a stove and refrigerator replaced last year, our “mid-Century modern” kitchen was sufficient to feed our family growing up. And virtually unchanged had served the prior homeowners for twenty years before that.

RIP “old” kitchen (2001 -2019)

When you were raising three boys, and two or sometimes, three dogs, over those years, there was neither the money nor the practicality in making major changes in a house built 60 years ago. When the boys grew and left home, we were able to make some improvements to last us into our retirement years – a roof, air conditioning, and solar-panels to pay for the air conditioning. We started to fix up the inside afterward. We, or rather, I was forced to deal with leaky faucets, broken appliances, dingy cabinets, and chipped ceramic-tile counter tops in the kitchen. I assumed I could handle these. I was overly optimistic.

The renaissance of our kitchen began at Christmas in 2018 with purchase of new appliances – which some were not installed until this week. After much deliberation about colors – latest trends, looking at neighbors’ renovations in 2018 and 2019, and my wife’s preferences, we repainted the living and dining rooms a pale blue-gray before the first hammer touched the kitchen. Next, with my months-long failed attempt at refinishing cabinets (YouTube does not make somebody like me a professional), I called a professional. While I tried to do my best, it may have been the worst, needed to compel me to get the job done properly. My friend and contractor brought expertise, but more, his team were craftsmen we needed.

I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.

Walt Whitman, via “brainyquote.com”
re-born kitchen (2020)

A few weeks have gone by and the transformation is nearly complete. Appliances are all installed and functioning, and now only a few finishing touches are needed. Everything looks ready to serve another quarter-century or so; I think my own warranty may expire by then. And now? It is time to continue onto the other rooms in the house, the lady thinks. I have my contractor in my phone contacts “favorites”.

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