Monday, November 9, 2009

Rock my world

My house was built in 1922, which means it 87 years old. That is an old house, at least by California standards. We are only the third owners. Someone owned it for the first 33 years, until my grandparents bought it in 1955. My dad never lived here because my parents were already married with three kids by 1955. My grandmother lived here until she died at age 97 in early 1987. We bought it a few months after she died and have been here 22 years.

When we moved in it needed everything. We tackled things slowly over the first five or so years we were here. The original kitchen, complete with trash burning stove, was still here and was in desperate need of remodel. It took us a couple of years to get to it. We were broke, had a baby, etc etc. In 1989, we gutted the whole thing and remodeled. Over the years since, we have replaced the floor because of water damage, redone the lights and replaced each appliance at least once. However, the cabinets, countertops and overall design have not changed. It is perfectly functional. A bit tired, perhaps, but functional.

All work done on the house since then has been to accommodate the wheelchair and Maggie’s needs. We talk about changing things in the kitchen, look at stores and magazines for ideas, but we just never get to it. The talk has been entertainment enough.

On Saturday, almost on a whim, we went to a granite place and ordered new granite counter tops. They are beautiful, darkish green granite. They will be installed after Thanksgiving. It could have been sooner, but we are woefully unprepared for installation. The old counters, backsplash and sink have to be removed. We have to purchase a faucet and have everything ready to go. Once installed we can’t use the countertops for three days and I can’t take the chance that prepping Thanksgiving dinner would have to be done without counters, so we will wait.

The problem with this is that now we have to replace the backsplash, and the floors will not match. Ca-ching! In addition, if we are going to need a new stove and dishwasher in the next year anyway, maybe we should just get it now. CA-ching! We are debating those extras but we are proceeding with the granite installation. You have to start somewhere. I can live with mis-matched stuff for a while. With Maggie and her needs, we cannot simply move out and have everything done at once.

Our floor choice will be extremely limited. We want to get tile, either natural stone or porcelain. Steve pointed out, however, that we will have to stop Maggie from “cooking.” You may recall Maggie “cooks” by flinging the pots, pans and anything else she can reach onto the floor. The crashing will break tile and dent natural wood or laminate. I said no. She gets to keep doing that because there are so few things she really has fun doing. If we have to have a resilient floor, so be it. Resilient is my middle name.

The excitement of the new purchase was dampened by a phone call from Eddie, the bike-racing son. He crashed on his bike and was enroute to the emergency room with a self-diagnosed separated shoulder. His diagnosis was spot on – perhaps because he is experienced with this particular injury. He has done it before.

He is the one who needs the resilient floor.

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