It is done. Finished. And so am I.
After six months, my wife and I have completed the remodel of our kitchen.
The funny thing is, this project was supposed to be quick-and-dirty, one of those that you can finish in a couple of weekends.
To that, I have just one word to say: Ha!
There is no such thing as a quick-and-dirty home improvement project. It never happened, especially not in our house.
We used to live in an 80-year-old farmhouse in Minnesota. This was a wonderful house, except the kitchen had only one small window.
“Wouldn’t it be so much lighter if we put in another window,” my wife asked one day.
Nine months later, we had remodeled every room in the house, added a bathroom — and remodeled the other two — completely redesigned the kitchen and put new windows in every room.
After that experience, you would have thought we’d stay away from remodeling projects. But, like moths drawn to a flame, we have found ourselves in the midst of another ever-expanding kitchen project.
Last summer, we tore out the old, metal cabinets that were in our 1950s kitchen, thinking we would replace them and call it good. Then we decided the built-in fluorescent lights should go, to be replaced by “can” lights and those cool little under-the-cabinet lights.
Then we had to find just the right countertop, and the backsplash needed to be tiled. And, of course, the floor needed to be redone.
What good is a new kitchen with an old floor?
Oh, and the entryway, hall and laundry room had to be redone, too.
And then. …
The project spiraled out of control. The more work we did, the more there was to do. I had discovered Dante’s “Inferno,” and there was no way out.
Finally, it dawned on me that the only way to stop was to hide the credit card. If I had no way to buy flooring, paint, sheetrock, shades, tools, tile, bricks or lumber I would eventually run out of things to do.
I had left out one factor: my wife.
“When are you going to finish that,” she’d ask. “And once we’re done with this, wouldn’t it be nice to….”
You get my drift. No matter how hard I try, there is no end to home improvement. I feel like I am trying to move Waikiki beach one grain of sand at a time.
My fate is an eternity of hammering, sanding, sawing and fussing.
I once said that, instead of capital punishment, judges should sentence the really bad criminals to doing home improvement projects.
It’s far worse than the electric chair could ever be.
At least with the electric chair I could sit down for a while.