Fables of the Reconstruction: Tom Petty Edition
It’s been a while I know, and in the meantime real life has been so agonizingly real that the problems of three (or more) little kitchen appliances don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
But it’s getting on for evening, and in our house the sun has definitely passed over the yardarm, so perhaps a little renovation schadenfreude might suit y’all just fine.
So here’s the current look:
Those of you familiar with the renovation rhythm will recognize this phase. We’re really in the end game. The cabinets are in and … wait for it … almost all the trim has been fitted. The appliances (all but one) have been placed — not hooked up, mostly — but placed. The painters are doing their thing, the electrician is scheduled and … you get the drill.
And yet, inevitably, what I blithely label an ending is not a matter of the number of actual days the different crafts have to do to complete the project. It is, of course, the number of weeks it will take to get the guys in for the day here and the day there to do all the bits and pieces.
We’ve already been hammered by that. The key, as everyone who’s done this kind of thing knows deep in the bone, is that first stumble off the neat center line of the project. Or, to put it into the SNAFU military frame familiar to many here, every renovation reaffirms the eternal truth: no plan survives first contact with the enemy. That enemy, in these cases, is, of course, the effrontery of wood and stone and flooring and all the other bits that don’t miraculously assemble themselves.
As late as November 5th or so, everyone involved thought we had a reasonable shot at a working kitchen by Thanksgiving. Now, today, we got a sink plumbed, with the dispose-all to be hooked up Friday, maybe. As for the rest…
It’ll come. It’ll all happen. We’ll likely have ovens on Friday too. The stove will take longer, as we have a little code problem that will take a bit of carpentry to fix (don’t ask). And….
Never mind. Everyone who’s entered renovation hell knows this story, and it’s never an interesting one, no matter how often it can be retold. This job will likely be actually done, no one coming back, everything in and working, by sometime in January. Could be February — wouldn’t surprise me. It’s a minimum of a 50% schedule fail on a four month job. Par for the course.
When it’s all done, we’ll be able as a family to do what we truly love: cook and cook and cook and cook for friends and friends and friends and friends. If in the meantime y’all get a bit of vicarious pleasure at knowing that the eternal verities of construction remain true…so much the better.
Last — and I mean last: we’ve been pretty good this going-on-for-half-a-year at cooking interesting, enjoyable meals on a hot plate, an electric frying pan, and a gas grill. But we’ve been beaten down. Tonight was supposed to be spatchcocked chicken roasted on the grill, but it’s pissing down with a steady, penetrating drizzle and it’s cold and it’s late, and f**k it sideways. We give up: pizza is on its way.
And I’m not ashamed.
And really last (no I’m not joking) — the obligatory soundtrack to a post about attending on the arrival of Godot’s scullion:
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