A few observations at the end of a busy week:
A carpenter who shows up when he says he will, finishes on time, charges reasonable rates, and is a craftsman who takes pride in his work is a gift from God.
Painting a room is a meditative, stay-in-the-moment activity that, done in moderation, is satisfying to the soul. Painting the insides of kitchen cupboards is an activity that is a pain in the neck—not to mention the back, the wrists, and the knees. The only meditation involved is contemplating just why the original builders ever thought a kitchen needed so many cupboards.
Could it be considered overkill to spend half an hour scraping and peeling 40-year-old contact paper off the bottom of a shelf no one can even see, instead of merely painting over it? (In this case, no. The stuff was ragged, had bubbled loose in places, and had collected several decades worth of crud along the edges. It was gross.)
When old wallpaper has been painted over three or four times, don’t expect one more layer to hide the seams.
They may call a paint color “Peach Sunrise.” The little rectangle of it on the color sample sheet may look like very pale gold tinged with rose. Its darker cousin on the same sample sheet may match the copper trim in the kitchen perfectly. But after you spend three hours applying it to your kitchen walls, painting carefully around cupboards and doorways and the brand new countertops, and after it dries, it turns out to be—there is no other way to put this—pink.
After finishing the painting last night and taking my aching muscles to bed early, I woke up at 2:00 a.m. after my sleep was disturbed by a horrible thought. Did I subconsciously pick the Peach Sunrise color out of hidden guilt over getting rid of the old built-in oven? The original oven installed when the house was built in the 1950’s. The very same oven which was still the manufacturer’s original pink. Was it heartless of me to throw it out, instead of helping it apply for Social Security and taking tender care of it in its old age? After all, as a woman of a certain age myself, I could have been more sympathetic to the fluctuations of its temperature and the unreliability of its thermostat. Maybe my subconscious mind chose a pinkish color for the walls in homage to a poor old appliance that had been discarded without a second thought.
Nah. I feel no guilt, subconscious or otherwise. Our kitchen has new countertops and realigned cupboard doors. The place that housed the old cooktop with its two remaining working burners is now a lighted countertop area perfect for kneading bread. The space where the old pink oven lived is a well- crafted cabinet. The new stove not only has five burners that actually work, but it boasts a convection oven. The freshly painted cupboard interiors gleam as they wait for their rearranged contents. Even the Peach Sunrise walls, in the morning light, look more peach than pink.
It’s all so appealing, I just might have to cook something.