The holiday rush
It was just three days before T-Day Eve, and I was getting serious anxiety that the kitchen would not be up and running in time. Knowing it would be a short week made me extra nervous. Mr. D also had a side project for the contractors—laying concrete in the side yard—which would take at least a day to complete. Though I knew we were nearing the end and Juan and crew had been amazing so far, I still was longing for the day we could have full repossession of our home.
It was a relief, though, to be back in the house after spending those few days in a hotel. The little one enjoyed our jaunt, but the pregnant lady wasn’t as fond of being away from home, even if it was quieter than living in a construction zone. The newly stained floors looked great, though Mr. D was withholding judgement until everything’s settled for a few days. There are spots where you can see the difference between the new stain and what’s gone down only two years before, but that can’t be helped for now.
On Monday the crew started installing the appliances. First up was the range hood, which looked glorious next to the subway tile. Meticulous me, I made sure the bottom of it lined up with the bottom of a tile run. Otherwise, it would just look haphazardly placed. Water for the new fridge was connected, which took some time, as did the connection for the new dishwasher. We had thought to re-use our existing garbage disposal unit, but Mr. D saw that it was several years old and already on its way out. He also wanted the disposal switch embedded into the countertop rather than on the wall. Just another detail to streamline our kitchen life. The range was the last one to go in, and it made me nervous that they couldn’t get a single flame. It took them nearly half an hour to find the problem and fix it, but we’ve got fire! This means that, at least, we won’t be arriving at Thanksgiving dinner empty-handed.
Tuesday and Wednesday were concrete days. One day to clear the side yard and start laying down the wooden forms, the next to pour the actual concrete and smooth it out. Juan’s right-hand man, Santiago, has been laying concrete since he was a teenager. He apprenticed for years and you can tell how much pride he has in doing good work. Thankfully, part of the crew was spared to install cabinet shelving, under-cabinet lighting, and hardware.
Ever the project manager, Mr. D pulled out the blue painter’s tape and began marking places around the kitchen that would need adjustments, touch-ups, and leveling. All these, however, will have to wait until next week. We did go to Bed Bath and Beyond to get some drawer organizers and start unpacking boxes from the garage. It felt great to start placing utensils, tools, pots, and pans in the places we had planned to put them.
Wednesday evening, I began using our kitchen for real, prepping and getting as far ahead on my Thanksgiving to-do list as I could. I cannot tell you how easy it was to go from fridge to prep space to cooking, as if we’d had this layout for years. The only thing the kitchen didn’t do was remind us of the chocolate mousse I had put in the freezer. We were halfway to my sister-in-law’s house when we remembered it, and so were a bit late for dinner. Still, it’s really come together the way we’d planned. For the next four days, we reveled in having a working kitchen—even if I had to stop Mr. D from inspecting every inch for things to add to the punch list. Already looking forward to Christmas holiday week and all the goodies we can make together.
Next week: the devil in the details