I have officially been a homeowner since October 20, 2008, and since then I have been slowly but surely attempting to make it my own. And now, nine months later I am going in for the kill … that’s right … dun, Dun, DUN … renovating the kitchen, which in my family has always been the heart of the home.
No matter the occasion, everyone always ended up in the kitchen – standing around eating, drinking, cooking, telling others how they should be cooking, washing dishes, telling others how they should be washing dishes – and here I am getting rid of all of it … wait, do you hear that??? Yea, that would be the screeching sound of my Catholic guilt!
As the layers have been peeled away over the past week, old memories have been brought back to life (they even found a newspaper stuffed in the wall with the insulation from 1970). The cheese doodle orange walls that my sweet Mama chose in the ’70’s (yeah – we were totally hip and with it), Daddy’s old tools from the dedicated “tool drawer” (about a gazillion screwdrivers of all shapes and sizes, there just in case, cuz ya never know…), and layers and layers of flooring (some more hideous than others) that used to vibrate as my brothers’ rock bands would play in the basement below.
Oh, it is definitely exciting to be making the kitchen my own, but nonetheless, the guilt is there. It hits me, firstly, when I wonder what my parents must be thinking as they watch over me. I imagine my father is at a bar in heaven somewhere enjoying a Boilermaker with the boys and muttering something along the lines of “What the hell are you doing to my kitchen,” and come to think of it, there has been a whole lot of thunder and lightening lately, no doubt messages from my father! Secondly, well, secondly is kind of a combo of the issue of the money I’m spending and the purging of all the “things” – certainly a result of growing up with a mother who had lived through part of the Depression era. I still feel guilty only blowing my nose in a tissue once before throwing it away. I can only imagine what she thinks of the 25 yard dumpster in the driveway that is filled to the brim, and there will probably be another one to fill soon with more “things” from other parts of the house.
But, despite the guilt, I know that I’m doing the wrecking with all good intentions. The most exciting part of it all is looking forward to the finished product and being able to have all of my family over – for Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays … or for just a good ‘ol plain cup of coffee and conversation – because a house is not a home without family, and the heart is not full unless it can be shared with others.