Those of you wise enough to check out my lovely wife Christine's blog (which can be linked to over on the right) are aware of the construction that's finally going on in what used to be my small but homey kitchen. I say finally because our contractor, an inventive, talented, and earnest fellow, promised us the work would all be done by Thanksgiving. He meant, of course, last Thanksgiving, but the way things are going, I'll be happy if he's finished by sometime this year.
I am a creature of habit. I do not suffer change easily or well. When I travel, I'm usually a bit twitchy from the moment I leave my house until the moment I check into my hotel room or whatever my final destination happens to be. Right now, I am in transition, and I'm not terribly happy about it. I know that when the work is done, the kitchen will be brighter, with a lot more desperately needed cabinet space, and I'll be happy as the proverbial clam (and who the heck determined that clams are by nature happy, by the way? If I spent my life immobile, under the sand, and sealed up in a shell, I'd have issues. But I digress.), but I really wish this particular journey of a thousand miles was closer to its final steps.
As I sit here typing, I can hear sawing, hammering, and sanding going on at the front of the house, and I thank the Fates that my home office is in the rear. The house looks like it was ransacked by Cossacks. There are piles of comics and magazines everywhere (which, in truth, I suppose, is not much different than usual), containers that hold all of our dishes and silverware (I've been eating with plastic utensils and my hands for several days now), and a vast assortment of groceries in bags and stacks. The back and side yards are littered with the old stove, old dishwasher, old sink, and the ruins of the old cabinets. I'm expecting FEMA to have us declared a disaster area any minute now.
When the work is over, however, I'm desperately hoping to be able to use the opportunity to get rid of things we do not need, rather than put them back on the shelves again. The late, great comic book artist Alex Toth once said, "I spent the first half of my career learning what to put into my work, and the second half learning what to leave out." I'm planning to apply that same principle to this house. Right now, there are a lot of things around here that are not nearly as valuable to me as the space they currently occupy.
In the meanwhile, if you need me, I'll be the guy with the rapidly-graying hair who is hiding under the bed. You can email me there directly.