Sunday, October 21, 2012

Remodeling Connections

"All things are connected," observed the Victorian author E.M. Forester.

Clearly he had remodeled a kitchen.

When my husband and I embarked on our kitchen remodel we decided to do it on the cheap, which was a win-win situation: Mr. Wonderful liked my frugality and after "redoing" our guestroom together, I liked that he still liked me.  DIY home remodels had fractured stronger relationships than ours, so I was thrilled he was game to tackle the hardest room in the house on my bare-bones budget.

Our planned remodel consisted of painting the cabinets, replacing their hardware and installing a backsplash (that was both practical and gorgeous; another win-win!)  And that was where we planned to finish the remodel.  But plans are things you make before your kitchen collapses around you.  What we didn't plan for was Forester's insight: "All things are connected".   Let me tell you, the bookish Brit wasn't kidding.

A kitchen is connected to a stove, so we bought one.  A stove is connected to an overhead hood, so we purchased one.  A hood is connected to a ceiling vent, so we busted through to the roof and made one.  A ceiling hole is connected to repair work, so we insulated and replastered.  Hoods are connected to symmetry, so once our narrow stove was centered under the hood it produced gaps on either side of it... and gaps as wide as the Grand Canyon aren't connected to anything but needed to be, so we made two cabinets to fill them in.  New cabinets are connected to finding things easily or why else would you bother installing the darn things in the first place?  So we built pull-out drawers.  Pull-out drawers are connected to special parts, so we special ordered their specialness despite their extra special arrival delay.  All of this stuff is connected to our money, which was in shorter supply now than when we'd started this %&#@$ DIY project, which was all your cheap, frickin' idea!



The money, the stress of cooking in a lumberyard, the constant scrapping-and-making of plans, this gentle readers, was why relationships broke during DIY projects!

E.M. recognized the ugly truth of remodels but he also gave me the solution.  I walked out to Mr. Wonderful's work bench.  Sawdust covered his dark hair, band-aids were wrapped around three of his fingers.  He set his drill down.

"I'm making steak for dinner," I said.
"Great I'm starving..." he said giving me the first smile of the day.  "Crap, then I have to hook up the stove again."
"Nope.  We're grilling out."
"Yes" he said high-fiving me.

It's connections, people.  With all the kitchen, stuff, crap in a remodel don't forget to connect to the people.  Because... all things are connected.