A Lifetime Of New Beginnings

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - July 19, 2006
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I am sitting in my living room watching three guys tear apart my kitchen. Actually, it is a kitchen no more, just a 12-by-17-foot cavity strewn with dust and rubble - and probably the remnants of thousands of bugs. My contractor, Scott Parmley, along with Steve and Damien have used tools I can’t name to pry, pound and pulverize the cabinets and counters, and there is foul-smelling dust hanging like smoke in the air.

And I wanted this?

Yes. Yes, I did.

Doesn’t it all go together - surgery, retirement, new kitchen? Hmmm. If I were to analyze this, I might conclude I needed something to do after finding myself jobless for the first time in two decades. Years of a full-tilt career combined with squeezing family life into evenings and weekends didn’t leave much time for domestic engineering. Now, suddenly, I had time to look around and say, hey, this old house really needs some work.

But I really think there’s something else going on here - a desire for new beginnings, a need to nest. I want a kitchen that’s fun to cook in because I actually have the time to play around with the hundreds of recipes I’ve collected through the years.

But that particular fulfillment will have to wait a bit longer.

They’ve pulled out the range, dismantled the broken dishwasher and trucked the fridge over to the living room. It sits right next to the microwave oven, the toaster broiler and the coffeemaker. That’s all we need for modern life - almost. We won’t actually be able to cook, but we’ll be able to make coffee and toast and frozen dinners. This isn’t bad.

It reminds me of the good old days of studio apartment living, back when I didn’t have much and didn’t care. Life was an adventure full of mystery and hope. I felt cozy, brave and independent in my one-room sanctuary. It was small, but my dreams were big - big enough to fill the space, and overflow.

Of course, I’m not there now. Many years have passed. Some of those dreams faded, others were fulfilled. Today, as I sit and watch the dust swirl, I remember that place and I feel the old excitement and anticipation. The house I’m in now may be bigger and I’m no longer living alone, but the sense of promise is the same.

A friend once told me the key to life is having something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. I have found that to be true. Everything else is gravy.

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