1990 Tiny Kitchen
1990 - Note the Daisy Wallpaper
If it is true as some say that a man is his car and a woman is her house, then I must admit that I often felt over the years that I became my ugly, old kitchen.
I stopped having company over other than family. Even though we had often had parties and smaller company suppers since we moved here in 1990, while thinking that we'd soon get around to remodeling the kitchen, I began to feel that we'd used up our years of "getting around to it." I felt that my roughing it days should be over. My favorite Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey mystery is Gaudy Night. In it Harriet Fane thinks to herself: "As one grew older, as one established one's self, one gained a new delight in formality." There had been a time in my life for slapdash living. The time had come for a tad more formality even in a little country farmhouse, or so I hoped.
Please don't say, "Oh, you shouldn't have let something like that stop you from having company." I know that a house should never become a symbol of pridefulness. Dorothy Canfield wrote a whole book about this very thing in 1911 called The Squirrel-Cage. When I read a paragraph near the beginning of the book, it jumped out at me because I suspected that it was true, whether it should be or not.
"The house of the Emery family was a singularly good example of the capacity of wood and plaster and brick to acquire personality. It was the physical symbol of its owners' position in life; it was the history of their career, written down for all to see, and as such they felt in it the most justifiable pride."
That grabbed my attention. I felt not so much that other people were judging me by my house, which perhaps they were, but that I truly felt unfinished, ugly, just like my kitchen. Face it, doesn't a house reveal the woman who lives there, and the kitchen most of all?
It wasn't that I wanted to become the woman Miss Canfield wrote about who literally drove her husband to his death in order to surpass the Jones family--hence the squirrel-cage image, or as we know it today, a toy that seems to keep gerbils happy. Gerbils love running in place to make that toy go round and round. Husbands are an entirely different matter.
No Cage for Our Squirrels
Fortunately for me, R.H. began to feel as I did about the kitchen. He began to draw up plans and they got revised for several years. Eventually he discarded the notion of remodeling the kitchen. He announced that instead we would be adding on a completely new kitchen.
Including Old Bathroom In Process of Being Gutted
Lots of Windows
Five months of cooking in a microwave and electric skillet later we sat down to our first meal in our new kitchen. The best thing about it? It has windows, three casement windows that I can easily open out to fresh air as I wash dishes and cook. Three windows and french doors to give me a view out, and when I walk the dogs through the valley and come back to the house at dusk, a view in.
Sigh.....................How divine! No, that's Candice Olsen. How very much me. And R.H.
Christmas 2004 in New Kitchen
Wallace & Defee in Our New Kitchen
Our kids playing Rub My Back Train. You can see the new red sofa and all the Retro red colors. I loved these colors for years, but there came a day...