We’ve been living without a kitchen for about a month now, and we’ve gotten accustomed to it to a degree. Every day we cook on the grill (including baking biscuits this morning), so every day seems like we’re camping out. If you look at things from a certain perspective, that sense of camping is highlighted even more.
The kids stayed home today because of the simple reason that we’re doing work that allows them to stay. We don’t have to head out to get anything; we don’t have to do any serious heavy work. Door molding and electrical finishing. So the kids today began playing with the leftovers of the hardwood floor. E had watched the whole process, so he, like the workers Tuesday, began laying out the floor and banging it together with a rubber mallet.
As for the work itself, the room looks like a room. The door molding is in, and we’ve got outlets almost done as well. The range arrived today for fitting the cabinets and counter top next week. Soon it will not just look like a room but like a kitchen.
The day began with a treat for the Boy: the flooring company installed our new hardwood, which has been sitting in the living room for close to a month, acclimating to our house’s moisture levels. E sat at the top of the basement stairs and watched as two men laid out the wood for the main part of the room while another worked on the small area in front of the basement door.
They took a smoke break after finishing the layout, then came back and finished the rest of the job in less than a couple of hours.
He of course chatted them up the entire time.
“Sorry about how shy my son is,” I laughed. The gentlemen found him generally amusing, though, and were very patient with his questions and own little explanations.
The afternoon, though, was all about the Girl: we bought her a new bike, a Trek FX, which is in fact a small adult bike. Lots of big changes for her: braking with her hands, shifting gears. Plus the size change — theoretically, this is a bike that can last her for ten years.
When K came home from work, she was happy to see the Girl’s bike (which we took out for an initial ride in the evening of 11 km), but was even more happy to see the floor.
It looks like a room again.
For two weeks, it’s been approaching: the moment when hours upon hours of work disappear under insulation and drywall. The LVL that serves as the header for both the window opening and door, the installation of which was a day-long extravaganza of sweating and straining, will be visible only in pictures.
The runs of 12-gauge and 14-gauge wires, all the pretty yellow and white lines snaking through the walls, will disappear, and the only evidence will be a working, properly grounded wiring system — what most folks take for granted in the developed world.
The gas line that pops up from the floor will be hidden behind our new stove, though the majority of it (along with the new floor-supporting beam) will always be invisible, hidden in the crawl space.
All these things were running through my head as I lazily prepared to install the insulation, thus hiding everything we’d spent so much time and money creating over the last two weeks. It was a job the Boy, who loves to help with everything, could have easily done — no heavy lifting, nothing dangerous edges — except for the fact that we had no protective gear for his eyes and lungs. And even if we had, I would be reticent to let him help with such a job. The least physically demanding yet the most dangerous in a way.
I put some music on — Led Zepplin’s 2012 Celebration Day live album — and got to covering up everything we’d done.
Job done, I tore down the plastic separating the kitchen from the rest of the house — we’ll need to protect the rest of the house throughout the process, but this particular piece of plastic was hung on a 2×4 that would make drywalling impossible — and thought how weird it was to have unrestricted access once again.