Thursday, September 13, 2012


: a place (as a room) with cooking facilities

I have kitchens on the brain today.  In an hour or so, some friends are coming over to help me pack up my current kitchen.  It's the only room (other than the basement, which I am studiously ignoring) that hasn't been nearly completely packed up.  Each daughter has just enough clothing to get her through the next week.  The bathrooms hold the bare essentials.  Even the bookcases are empty, with the exception of the library bookshelf.  It is just not possible for anyone in my family to go five days without reading.  I could try, but it wouldn't be pretty.  You think we're stressed and anxious about the move now?  Try taking away our books.

I'm undecided as to how to go about putting my entire kitchen into boxes.  Do it all in one fell swoop tonight and eat off of paper plates for four days?  Leave out five plates that we wash after each meal?  Chuck it all and eat take out for the next two dozen meals?  None of these options are especially appealing, but such are the vagaries of moving.

In the midst of packing one kitchen, there's another kitchen on my mind:  my new one.  Earlier today, I headed over to our new house to hold up some paint swatches and pick colors for a few rooms.  I know it will be easier to have some of these rooms painted before we fill them up with stuff.  The beige oatmeal on the walls throughout does not satisfy my soul's desire for color.  So I chose a light aquamarine for the kitchen, a blue for A's bathroom and a gray for the master bath.  If only I'd been able to make those choices before seeing the refrigerator sitting in the kitchen, awaiting installation. 

I've always been particular about refrigerators.  When we renovated our kitchen two years ago, we considered and discarded multiple refrigerator options before settling on one that had handles that felt nice and held enough food for our family.  Over the course of our fifteen years as homeowners, we've had every type of refrigerator you can have - side by side, freezer on top, french door.  Our favorite is definitely the french door, so when we put our new house under contract, we inquired about what refrigerator would be installed.  Not wanting to be too controlling and demand a french door one, I instead asked only that it not be a side by side.  Anything but a side by side - which never has enough room for cold or frozen food and often has those cumbersome ice makers hogging precious space.

What sat in our new house today?  Of course it was a brand-new, ordered-last-week side by side refrigerator.

Here's the thing: I completely let this steal my joy.  I had come to the house alone, hoping for some bonding time by being there alone in the quiet.  I left the girls watching a history movie and brought my paint swatches and a blessing book.  But the whole refrigerator thing threw me off so badly that I second guessed myself for the entire visit.  Was I crazy to paint the kitchen this color?  Would it make the bathroom too dark to choose this?  What color would bridge the living room and dining rooms like I wanted?  I have a lot of faults, but being indecisive is not generally one of them.  I know what I like and am not afraid to make a choice, but I was so rattled by that refrigerator, I completely forgot who I was.

So as I pack up our kitchen tonight, I'm going to try to remember the myriad choices that went into that space: the blue walls, the honed granite countertops, the knob pulls that not only look good, but feel nice on your hands.  It is a space where I trusted my instincts and the results were pleasing.

Perhaps in time, I'll achieve enough mental and emotional equilibrium to know and trust my instincts in my new home as well.  For now, I'm going to try to set aside any decision making and just pack, pack, pack.  Hopefully, the old me will return and I'll find some colors that will make our home sing welcome, come in and relax to all who enter.

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