It's not about the house.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

...and Enzo Made the Bread

By the time the stove blew up —

Okay, technically, the stove did not Blow Up. Who cares? You stand in the kitchen dodging flaming arcs of whatever-it-was, and see if you don’t think you’ve earned the right to call it what you like. I’ll say I saw a g-d mushroom cloud if that’s what I want to say. Got it?

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah.

By the time the stove blew up, we had been on hiatus from serious renovation for just about six months. There might have been a floor going in here, or a light fixture being wired there, but the real, tear-your-hair-out, get-drunk-every-night-and-dream-about-waking-up-that-way-in-the-morning work had been over for a while. We hadn’t forgotten, but we’d rested up.

We’d also saved up. See, a nephew of Johnny’s had come to stay with us for six months of 2005. He’s another story for another day (a story that only starts with the fact that he has the exact same name as Johnny, so I literally called him Nephew the entire time), but the reason I mention him here is that he’d been paying rent. Not much, but I’d been socking it away.

So, having gotten used to two whole burners and at least a half an oven, and having a whole $2000 in the bank just twiddling its thumbs, we decided the explosion was a Sign: it was Time to Do the Kitchen.

Now, for those of you who’ve been through this, you know $2000 isn’t going to get you very far. But we had backup:

· Mom & Dad had promised us a stove as a housewarming present. Two years later, we would hold them to that deal.

· In the years that we’d been waiting to bring the gas line in the house, Johnny’d managed to do a favor for a gas fitter, so we could get that work done for free

· The gas fitter, in turn, had done a favor for a plumber, and was willing to call that in on our behalf. (Our old plumber? The one who put in the new bathroom? While waiting for us to be ready to do the kitchen, he had actually died.)

· Johnny had befriended a retired electrician up at his local pub. Jack. Although Jack was very old and even less well than we knew, he kept his electrician’s license current. He wasn’t up to actually doing any of the work himself, but he was happy to pull the permits for us and sit on a chair in the middle of the room, drinking O’Doul’s and supervising. All he wanted in exchange was a banana bread when we got the oven working. (Poor old Jack. He’s dead too, now. He did get his bread before he went, though, and a jar of homemade grape jelly from our vines.)

· We had a bunch of blueboard leftover from when we did the back room. Overestimated that beaut by almost half, I did, but by the time we figured it out it was too late to bring it back.

· My friend Marie had decided to treat herself to a spanky-deluxe new dishwasher, and she said we could have her old, fully-functioning-but-not-deluxe one for our very own.

· Then, of course, there was good old Andy, and all the supporting players from The Outie Show.

So our $2000 really only had to stretch to cover cabinets and a sink and counter. And a faucet, because did you know sinks don’t come with faucets? And a pig. And all the bits and pieces of copper tube and wire covers. And doors, because did you know cabinets don’t come with doors? And Durock for underneath. And the spread on the stove because we chose one so super-extra-deluxe that we couldn’t possibly ask my folks to pay for all of it...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The first step was demolition.

It just so happened I had a vacation planned for that very week.


Leslie said...

A pig?!?

Vanessa said...

OHHH! Leave us hanging! I hope not too long. And no, I had no idea cabinets didn't come with doors. What kind of crap is that?

jen said...

This story does kind of have me waiting on pins and needles for the rest...