When a problem comes along, you must whip it

Our story so far: My husband and I had toiled nearly nine months to transform a 126-year-old Methodist church into our residence.

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Chapter 37

We were stuck on Phase Three of our project—drywall, paint and flooring—for so long, I’d forgotten what Phases Five, Six, Seven and Eight were, but I remembered clearly what had been working toward during all those long days sanding wood floors: Cabinets! Finally, we’d arrived at Phase Four of our project: Cabinets & Appliances.

Oh, we had been picking around the edges for some time. We bought the display kitchen and gotten a quote for having it delivered. When we heard the number, Tyler and I agreed it was much cheaper to rent a U-Haul and perform the heavy lifting ourselves. That day back in March was filled numerous references to Devo and “Lost in Space.”

“Crack that whip!”

“Danger, danger, Will Robinson!”

We whipped it good, and we didn’t bust anything; we earned our soup that day.

In the time between buying the display kitchen and picking it up, I worried I didn’t have enough storage space, but handling every single cupboard and drawer disavowed me of that notion. Since the church wasn’t ready for cabinet installation when the remodeling firm was ready to get rid of their display kitchen, so we handled every single cupboard a drawer again when we moved them from the rental unit to the church, but that was an exciting day that signaled we were done sanding floors (did I say “done”? We weren’t done, exactly, but instead of churning the ice cream, the next time we sanded we would be putting a cherry on top the sundae).

kitchen most of the summer
This is our kitchen looked for most of the summer (this wide-angle photo makes it look a more crooked than it was in real life).

Installing the laundry cabinets and the master bath vanity were the other bites we’d taken on the cabinet phase, but really, nothing compared to that kitchen. We had diddled with the upper cabinets and the additions we’d purchased during the rainy week of the longest days of summer but by the end of August, we were still waiting for the replacement cabinets in the right color (oh, that retailer was not going to like the review we planned to write—the firm epitomized recalcitrant).

kitchen in assembly
Um, where do we start?

In total, our kitchen cabinets were a Rubik’s Cube without instructions. We were moving around parts of the display kitchen, and we’d added a few pieces drawn from various sources, and now we had to figure out how to put them back together. And get them level. Tyler, You-Can-Call-Me-Al and I conferred several times that day, poring over the pictures we’d taken of the display kitchen when it looked like it was supposed to, instead of how it looked in pieces on the floor our church sanctuary.

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Tomorrow: Getting there. Check it out here.

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