We’re redoing the kitchen. After years of talking about it, dreaming about it, and wishing for it, the time is finally right. It’s a good thing, because the oven works only occasionally, the wood floors are worn to white, the faucet leaks, and there are drawers that haven’t opened since two babies ago. Our fridge, which came from the scratch-n-dent when the kids were little, is now just a huge picnic cooler, stacked high with teenage quantities of food, most of which we can’t see, because the interior light is broken. This kitchen is simply used up, and I can’t wait to see it go.
So, when our builder suggested that we throw a good-bye party before the demolition, I laughed. He recounted clients that burst into tears after seeing their old kitchen broken to pieces in the dumpster, but I just couldn’t imagine going through such effort to celebrate this old, formica-covered disaster.
But things began to change as we selected brand new appliances, cabinets and countertops. I thought a little more about this old kitchen, and how much of my family’s life has been spent in it. Sure, we’ve cooked and cleaned, but have you ever really thought about how much else happens in your kitchen? Ours has doubled as a disco, comedy club, concert venue, nursery and medical wing. We’ve celebrated in it, mourned in it, debated, argued, pampered, and planned in it. And when it began to fall apart, we repainted it, redecorated it, and even rebuilt parts of it. I actually had tears in my eyes after thinking about all of this, and suddenly felt the need to pay homage to this old kitchen and provide a proper burial.
We are now planning a good-bye party for the kitchen. We’ll clean her up, dress her up, and give her one last run before it’s all over. We’ll invite friends and neighbors, cook on the grill (because the oven won’t work), and celebrate a life well-lived inside these four walls. I won’t care if guests can’t find anything in the darkness of my fridge or if there’s no ice (because the icemaker was never hooked up). This old girl has seen my family through a life filled with more ups and downs than you could ever imagine. She’s in this condition because the six of us live hungrily and passionately. She’s given her all and is finally ready to make way for a new kitchen to see us through.
Life will be different with the new kitchen. Walls will come down, doorways widened, and colors changed. There’ll be a big fridge, two working ovens, and an ice maker. There will be working drawers and cupboards that close. But what I’m most looking forward to is helping this kitchen to truly become ours. And so, after the final nail is in and the last wall painted, we’ll have another party to welcome this strange new kitchen into the family. We’ll cook, eat, laugh, look into the back of the fridge, and open drawers. We’ll sing songs, dance a little, have drinks with lots of ice, and start making fresh, new memories. So, we’ll see you later, old kitchen, and rest easy. It’s been a delicious ride.
Abby Helman Kelly is the founder and owner of Gluten-Free Connecticut and www.glutenfreeconnecticut.com. She has a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Boston University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org