2018-10-05 / Commentary

Home is where the coffee is

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

For the first time in eight weeks, this week I actually MADE and DRANK a cup of coffee…in our new kitchen!

It was an amazing thing…after eight weeks of coming downstairs, stepping over boxes and bags and fumbling around in our makeshift living-room-turned-kitchen which consisted of the coffee maker, the toaster and the microwave on a card table…walking into an actual kitchen and having coffee like a real grown up person was…well…yes… AMAZING!

And to top it off…I had a piece of toast too! IN the kitchen!

I have to say it was worth the wait and in the big scheme of things, the time wasn’t unreasonable at all. But if any of you plan on doing any sort of major remodel or renovation, I have one word for you…MOVE!

The past eight weeks were as pleasant as things can be when your home is torn apart, you have no idea where half your stuff is, and from roughly 7-8 a.m. to sometimes 7-8 p.m. you have people in your house doing all sorts of work with hammers, saws, nail guns, and I don’t know what else, it can be a tad wearing.

I can see it as a Lifetime Movie… The Makeover Murders. The woman of the house goes slowly insane and day by day a different worker disappears and the final scene is of the woman sitting in the middle of her half-remodeled house singing some nursery song like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” in a creepy singsong voice while dismembering all the workers’ power tools…one by one.

A friend of mine has recently remodeled her entire house…a HUGE project where they added on a floor, extra rooms, and all sorts of things. She actually moved out of her house and she told me she couldn’t understand WHY I would choose to live here while all this was going on.

I told her it was for the cats. My two cats, Molly and Scrappy, are formerly feral and while they love us and sleep with us, they do not like strangers. Or loud noises. Or machines or anything they had to put up with for the last eight weeks. Poor Molly had to live under the bed most of every day and Scrappy simply left home when the workers arrived and then came back when they left.

And then we got our new dog, Charlie. That little dog must have thought he’d moved into a warehouse. Boxes everywhere, no one ever cooking, and his food bowl moved daily. While the workers were here, the garage was open all the time and Charlie, being nine pounds, fits right through the kitty door so he’d just pop out and take a little stroll in the neighborhood whenever the mood struck him.

One morning as I’m getting out of the shower, I looked out my window and saw a little white dog trotting down the street.

“Ooooh…someone else has a dog like you Charlie…come see… Charlie? Ooooh Chaaarrrrlllieeee…. OH NO! That IS Charlie!”

So I raced downstairs wrapped in a towel and yelled at him from behind the front door to get his self HOME NOW! And he did. But still…it was kind of frightening to think about leaving him at home alone and him going on one of his doggy adventures if he got bored.

And in addition to our sweet Charlie, a little ginger kitten adopted us in the middle of all this as well. Of course she was a female, needed to be fixed, and get all her shots so she went from an outside feral to an indoor lover kitty. We named her Copper and she actually loved all the boxes and that whole “storage shed” look we had going. It was “fun” for her…hidey-holes everywhere and things to climb and knock over… she’s been having the time of her life. As a matter of fact, since I started putting the kitchen back together, she seems a little dejected.

So with all the animals here, I felt I needed to stay with them, so I have. My girlfriend is still in disbelief, especially since we have a place at the lake and my husband Marty has been spending a LOT of time there.

“Why don’t you go to the lake Julia…why stay there for all that torture when you have the lake place?”

“Oh…I can’t leave my cats…they need me,” I replied.

“You’re an idiot,” she proclaimed.

That particular conversation took place on my drive to the lake place the ONE weekend I actually went there. I wasn’t really insulted by my pal’s choice of words…after all…to her, I’m sure she couldn’t understand why I would stay at the house if there was an escape route. But my sacrifice for “my babies” made me feel sort of…well…noble. Like I was the ultimate “mom” willing to do anything for my children. I would keep them safe. I would keep them happy. I was the embodiment of all good “mom” things.

And then…as I sat down on the back porch of the lake house sipping my glass of wine and looking out over the placid water, listening to, not power tools, but the birds singing and scampering squirrels and the occasional fish flopping in the water…I had an epiphany.

I leaned back into the couch, took another sip of wine and it just hit me. My girlfriend was right. I am an idiot. And that truth…didn’t even hurt.

I’m just saying…

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