When Doug and I were married, I moved from my parents’ home into a brand new trailer house he’d bought. Back then, trailers were a wonderful way for young couples to start out, and the court where we lived was new, well-kept and respectable. I felt privileged to begin our married life there.
Of course, I knew it wouldn’t be long-term, nor did I want it to be. By the time I was pregnant with our second daughter, we moved into a new mostly-finished house with plenty of room for the children we wanted to have.
Then, Union Pacific sent us to Omaha. When we found out we were moving, I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with daughter #4. Though we were so close to my due date, I dared a trip out here to house-hunt, but after an exhausting day of looking, could find nothing I liked. Dejected, I went home to western Nebraska.
Now, I had never so much as trusted my husband to buy groceries without me, let alone buy us a house, but that’s what he had to do. Time was ticking. He brought back a video tape with a room-by-room tour of the house he chose for us, and I watched that thing two dozen times to get acquainted with my new home.
Finally, with a 9-day-old baby in my arms, I saw the house for the first time. One step into the kitchen, and I almost panicked. The room was so small, could I even get a table and chairs in it?
We managed, but with one that had to be pushed against the wall to make a walkway to the patio. Then, when it was time to eat, we pulled the table out again. Night after night, year after year, we moved the table back and forth for extra room.
My family began to grow. Not with more children–we stopped at four girls–but with sons-in-law and grandbabies. During that time, I whined and complained about getting a bigger house. Or at least adding on–darn it, I needed a new kitchen! Doug dug in his heels. Why should we buy a new house when our family was getting smaller?
The male mind, I swear.
Amy, our youngest, went off to college. For the first time in 31 years, it was just Doug and me in the house. Amazingly enough, I coaxed him into just ‘looking’ at some new houses. Didn’t cost anything to look, right?
What an eye-opener. The houses that had the kitchen that I wanted–and trust me, I wasn’t being extravagant–cost upwards of a quarter million dollars. And more. To have a kitchen the size I felt we needed came with a house that had far too much room and way too many extras.
Worse, the housing market had stalled. Houses far nicer than ours were sitting 9 months, 12 months and longer. Scary stuff. Who wants to make double mortgage payments while the first house sells?
Our builder broke ground in December to double the size of our kitchen. For the past 3 months, we’ve been camping out in our own home. My old kitchen is completely gutted. I’m washing dishes in the bathroom sink. Our family room is so full of boxes you can’t walk from one end to the other. My formal dining room set is sitting in the living room, and we’ve been surviving on TV dinners, fast food, and restaurants. We’ve been cleaning drywall dust and walking around contractor clutter for weeks.
Perhaps when it’s time for me to blog again, I’ll have pictures of my spiffy new kitchen to share. If not, the next time for sure.
When it’s all over, I’ll savor the moment when I can look my dear hubby in the eyes, smirk a little and say, “You should have listened to me years ago.”
(Mary, I just know you’ll have a story to tell. Hee!)
Have any of you ever done a major remodel? An addition? Any horror stories to tell? Any advice to pass along?