Everything but the kitchen sink, and a kayak


This morning my beloved spouse of 21 years couldn’t find his drill anywhere. He was checking the chaos of the semi gutted kitchen and adjacent mess for it.

Without looking up I said “check the upper cabinets still hanging in the kitchen. You’re good for setting things inside them and forgetting.”

I hear “there it is and yes I am” and one drill rediscovered.

This is why we are a solid couple. Renovation ESP.

It is no secret that Mr. Wonderful is the main contractor on all of our renovations. I am like the trusty assistant and triage nurse. I locate tools, hand them over, and sweep up behind. I relish my role.

Cutting corners

I also serve as the devil on his shoulder during any important decision-making process. Basically, if there’s a way to do it right, and a way to cut corners and get it done quickly and cheaply, I’m always going to go for the latter.

It’s one of my many failings as a person. Mr. Wonderful, for his part, is always going to go the extra mile. That comes as a surprise to no one.

So while he’s contemplating something that’s going to add hours if not days to the process, I am behind him saying “just let it go. Leave something for future renovators. We can’t do it all for them. It’ll make them lazy.”

Why should we do all the hard work numerous layers in? As it is we’ve enjoyed uncovering historic clues of the lifestyle lived in our home long ago.

As they worked their way through the layers of kitchen flooring like a geologic expedition, they eventually reached the original linoleum.

It is always a momentous thing to realize we are seeing materials original to our century old home. We are also usually seeing materials last seen prior to the World War II. So that’s kind of cool.

Also, somewhat scary. We found holes in the kitchen floor that we can neither explain, or understand. It was all very mysterious.

Of course renovating your kitchen, even slightly, means taking everything out of the kitchen and apparently spreading it all throughout the house.

I’m pretty sure I have salt-and-pepper shakers and a serving platter as far away as the third floor at this point.

The kayak

Into the wall-to-wall chaos that is washing your coffee cup in the bathroom sink, and wending your way around boxes of dishes, Boywonder did the only obvious thing one can do. He brought his kayak into the living room. Naturally. As you do.

I have long prided myself on having a home that is comfortable, lived in, and most of all welcoming. I tend to be pretty relaxed although I do like a tidy environment. In his defense, it’s a very clean kayak.

Due to my somewhat relaxed policy, and the fact that it was barely noticeable in the wreckage, a kayak sat smack in the middle of our living room for three days. With the weather, we’ve been having it did make a nice backup plan.

It also coordinated beautifully with the dresser nearby that was pressed into service as a makeshift kitchen counter. Coffee and a kayak? Why of course.

Eventually, the kayak did move outdoors, although the kitchen sink is still on the porch and the rest of the kitchen is still predominantly sparse.

The new cabinets, new appliances, a shop vac, and coffee mugs I never knew we had have all migrated all over the downstairs.

It’s like an obstacle course just to get a snack. If I have to do two laps and climb a box mountain to get to the cookies, do I get to count the calories burned against the calories consumed?

I think it definitely does if I use the kayak.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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