“The Kitchen”

Duh duh da dum… We have been renovating the “The Kitchen” for about four years now. That’s the way we refer to it, “The Kitchen.” Amazingly this little galley style kitchen had become a large overwhelming task.

We moved into our handyman starter home twenty-three years ago. We started the basic renovations room by room. It took us about five years to get the rooms painted and refreshed with new floors. At the same time we installed air conditioning and upgraded the electric. We also installed hurricane shutters, one window at a time, and fenced the back yard. Oh yeah and a complete bathroom gut job. Right down to the studs. Dang! Water leaks! I am proud to say we did the majority of the work ourselves.

It may not have been cable home TV quality but, our little house has served us well. However the kitchen was never really renovated. Yes, we’ve gone through two sets of used major appliances, cleaned, and painted the room. But that was it. The cabinets and linoleum floors were original to the house circa 1977. Then in 2012 “The Kitchen” project began with this simple statement “Honey, I think it’s time to redo the kitchen.

With the economy still in the tank four years ago and prices rising steadily we knew we would not be able to complete a full remodel. We planned the kitchen in two stages top and bottom. We’d do the bottom first then, we’d evaluate. We decided to go with stock cabinets (easier to match later) and buy as much of the tile as we could afford at the time. It took us about a year of working on “The Kitchen” during our time off to finish the bottom half. We got as far as cabinets, dishwasher, sink, and tile countertops. We tiled the floor from the dining room through the kitchen and ending with the laundry room.

Stage 1


Well…last October I decided we needed to pick up the gauntlet and face “The Kitchen” again. My husband groaned at the thought. But like the stalwart man I love he accepted my gauntlet, and rode his chariot to the Home Depot to order the upper cabinets. The cabinets were stained, polyurethaned, installed, and restocked before Thanksgiving. Since then we’ve been squeezing in tile work on the walls and repairs. Last weekend we painted. Oh my word! Does that make it shine or what?



Now we are down to a couple of finish-up items. Replace two damaged floor tiles (remember the floor is now four years old), and fix two drawers. I hope we get it done this week. Because here’s the thing, I reach the last bump-up in my pension in four years. Four years and I’ll have thirty years of service. I’m stunned. All this ties into the change I’ve been yammering about: the empty nest; the career completion; and a new path.

It hits me with an almost physical thud. I need to be ready in four years for anything! A move, a trip, a dream… You name it I need to be ready for it. I want to be able to sell and head in the direction God leads. I can’t tell you where. I can’t tell you how. I can’t tell you when. All I know is my gut tells me to complete this thirty year bump-up and then everything changes. How exciting is that!

Four years to downsize and clean-out twenty-seven years of marriage, family, and life. Four years to launch my Eagles into the world. Four years to complete my career. Four years to renovate a well-loved and well-lived home. Four years to dream and explore. Four years to watch God unfold a plan and weave it into my life.

Wow! Am I up for the task? Yes I am! Now I just have to break it to my dear mate that we will be renovating room by blessed room again! It’ll be like being new homeowners again, Right? I can just see him rolling his eyes and saying, “Really Milly?”

Have some fun with your life!


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