Just as I was finishing up my post yesterday morning, my neighbor Ron came to the door wearing a tool belt and bearing a hacksaw. Ron's arrival signaled the advent of the next phase of the remodeling project. We cut the pipes for the floor radiator, disconnected the stove, and removed the dishwasher and garbage disposal. All of this needed to be done so Sally and I could commence work on the floor as a prelude to laying tile.
But I wasn't ready. Though the dishwasher had finished one last run and had been unloaded, and it only took a few minutes to empty the cabinet under the sink, it all happened too fast. I thought I was ready, but I wasn't.
Do you remember the great line ad-libbed by the late Roy Scheider in Jaws? Upon seeing the huge shark for the first time, Chief Brody turned to the shark hunter, Quint, and gasped, "You're gonna need a bigger boat!" The wide eyed look of shock and disbelief in Scheider's eyes came back to me yesterday as I surveyed the remains of the kitchen after Ron left. Until that moment I had been surfing merrily along atop the vision of the new kitchen and the turmoil with the contractor. In an instant I found myself beneath the waves, gasping for breath, unsure which way was up.
Amidst the chaos, I did what Sheldon, my alter ego from Big Bang Theory, would do: I started sorting things into piles. Like with like. Put all the food items on the table in the dining room... tools go into the blue bin... keys go into the bowl... "We keep our keys in a bowl. You should keep your keys in a bowl...."
I rode my bike part way down the hill to meet Sally on her ride home. Being on the bike helped me clear my head, and Sally's steady presence and cheery demeanor brought me the rest of the way out of my funk. Of course, she TOTALLY expected the kitchen to look like this.
By evening's end we had the appliances moved out of the way against the dining room walls, most of the remaining cupboards were bare, and a bivouac kitchen had been set up in the basement. Though our oatmeal this morning was of the instant variety, there was coffee, a hint of normalcy, and the hope that our deconstruction phase, like the economic depression, was bottoming out.