by Caren Crane
The green-eyed monster has visited me recently. This is something of an "occasion" in my life, for I rarely envy anyone for any reason. In the past few seasons, though, several friends (including our own lovely Susan Sey) have remodeled their kitchens. All the talk of new cabinet facings, countertops and flooring has made me look around at my own kitchen with a disparaging eye. Yes, friends, it happened to me: cabinet envy.
Our house was built in 1979 and I don't think the couple who built it were the cutting-edge types. When we moved in, the kitchen had wallpaper featuring partridges and fruit in shades of brown and mustard. Okay, it wasn't as bad as the wallpaper in this picture, but still very 1970s. The partridges are gone but the faux butcher-block countertops remain. The cabinets are dark-stained wood in a faintly Spanish style (though I changed out the dungeon-door pulls years ago). The vinyl flooring is the original: small squares in shades of brown, showing its 32 years of wear and tear. Everywhere my eyes rest, there is Work To Be Done.
I have daydreams of sparkling new flooring, sleek countertops and blond wood cabinets. The bathrooms need Major Work, as well. To be perfectly honest, I haven't touched the dining room or the guest room since we moved in, though everything else has at least had new paint. When we were younger, my husband and I would regularly take a week of vacation each year just to work on the house. That came to an end when we finally had enough money to take actual vacations, to which we quickly became addicted. Alas, poor house!
Since we will have an Empty Nest after next school year, I have been bitten and bitten hard by the Relocation Bug. We won't be able to sell our house, though, unless we first do some remodeling. So, the remodeling will get done, but then I won't be in the house to enjoy it. It's the most ironic sort of irony ever! Really, though, we are older now and lack the energy to keep up the 1.1-acre yard, the house and the *^%# swimming pool (that I never wanted!). I think it will be worth the money and effort to get rid of the house and buy something a bit smaller with no yard to speak of.
The kids are already whining about us selling the house (which won't happen for a few years, I'm sure), but my husband is on board. I thought he would fight it, but the prospect of not having to be lawn boy and pool boy both seems to have enticed him. (Here's one for the 'Raising Hope' fans - Burt the Flirt!)
What about you? Has the change of seasons made you restless and discontent with the status quo in your living space? Had a friend do a spiffy remodel that has you drooling on her granite countertop? Or have you already done the remodel and are now resting, contented, on your updated laurels? Oh, and I REALLY want to know if anyone has had to do updates in order to sell. I am your captive, so please tell me all!