I’m taking a break from trying to dress up my new “garage” kitchen, which the Honorable Honor and I are now sharing with a yellow Labrador, her hairy and stinky bed, the cars, two refrigerators, box cutters, and assorted garbage baskets and cans.
You may remember my writing about the days that the Honorable Honor and his lovely honoree (me) and a large Rottweiler named Elsa lived in a 5th wheel trailer on our newly acquired untamed property while our house was being built by one contractor and a host of subs who arrived at night and on the weekends.
Never mind that my father (God rest his soul) told me privately that we were insane for buying land we couldn’t afford, building a house we couldn’t afford, and to add insult to injury, living in a space with a large German dog. Hummph!
Those days in the trailer were some of the happiest in my life, albeit the most cramped in my life. The Honorable Honor and I watched Tool Time and the Love Connection, ate microwaved popcorn (ahhh, the days before diverticulitis), and continued to work by day as English teacher and a Judge.
The Honorable Honor looked, as usual, like a million dollars, stepping out of the trailer with a flashy tie and colorful socks. Like Harry Truman, natty and upright, he stepped into his clean car with polished shoes and a spring in his step ready to dispense justice to all.
I, on the other hand, looked more like a girl who has been to an all-nighter, a slumber party if you will–tired, wrinkled, and confused about which day it was, what I had eaten for dinner, and worst of all, what I was teaching that day. I was only 43 years old back then but at the time, I felt, well, older. Ironically, I was teaching The Grapes of Wrath that quarter and what a job I did! I actually felt like a Joad.
That was 25 years ago. The house has aged, as we all do. His Honorable Honor, still full of optimism and style, decided that it was TIME for a remodel of the kitchen. As these types of things often do, the remodel has grown to the entire downstairs, two bathrooms, a tile entry, and the faux beams in the living room which, I might add, when upgraded, will still be faux…they just won’t look it.
I have packed the entire downstairs and things are well, somewhere. In five days, I have walked upstairs or downstairs or double-downstairs to our basement, putting stuff somewhere.
The dog is thoroughly confused. Since when do I have to sleep in the garage? her eyes seemed to say last night as I gave her a small biscuit and said, “Ok! Time to go to bed!
This morning, as fall begins her subtle entrance into my life, I stood up and stretched to welcome the day. (Ouch! my back! my legs! my poor huddled masses of muscles yearning to be pain-free!)
I padded downstairs through the dust and the plastic wrapping designed to keep it out (yeah, right) to my lonely coffee pot, way out there in the garage, under the Honorable Honor’s tool belt.
Honorable Honor? He left early, dressed like a king on the way to his coronation.
I sat on the uncomfortable chair with the hairy dog at my side, staring into my Cup of Joe.