C’est pas possible! Non! It just can’t be! After over a year of waiting, after endless staff meetings, after adjusting plans and schedules, after resigning ourselves to the fact that it just would never happen, then the contractor called just a few days ago saying he will be here on Monday the 13th. He and his crew will be ready to start just after 9:00 AM.
Oui! The long-awaited renovation of the soon-to-be-world-famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen (SFH TK) will begin tomorrow morning. And, because the highly motivated and, with one obvious exception, the highly capable SFH TK staff members have been working feverishly, night and day, since the contractor’s call to make all things ready for the work to be done. Here is some of what’s been going on:
- Mr. Monte, the SFH Chief of Security, has drawn up a comprehensive work site security plan. This is to ensure that the work crew observes all protocols for safety in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules and, more importantly, to adhere to Mr. Monte’s special protocols for non-disturbance of feline activities and non-introduction of intolerable noise or odors.
- Blondie, the SFH TK Senior Executive Chef, has taken direct charge for clearing of cabinets, countertops, kitchen appliances, and utensils. She is also taking advantage of this renovation period to discard all non-essential items that have accumulated in the kitchen over the past eight years.
- At the direct request of Blondie (in acknowledgement of my vast experience in the art of kitchen crafting, especially in the areas of efficiency and utility), I have assumed the role of project manager and scheduler. Using both traditional planning techniques and computer aids, I fashioned a faultless plan for completing all necessary preparations. As of this morning, I can confidently say that we are on schedule and will be 100% ready when the workers arrive tomorrow morning.
- Ol’ Fuzz Face has been of some help in this task. He occasionally follows directions correctly and he has broken nothing of great value. He is most useful for lifting and carrying heavy objects. We try not complicating his work by requiring actions that involve serious thought.
As the renovation project proceeds, I will try to update you and explain why we have made various choices relating to the changes we are making. I must stress that we are not remodeling the kitchen. Our intent is to maintain the best of what previous owners have done since the late-1970s, while at the same time, adding touches that recall the early history of the house extending back to the 1920s.
The earliest picture we have of the kitchen was taken circa 2000. It reflects features commonly found in kitchens going back to the 1970s. Note the stainless-steel sink, Formica countertops, and wallpaper. Not quite as visible is the linoleum tile flooring.
The following set of photos show the kitchen just prior to when Blondie and Fuzzy acquired the house – “as is”. Note that by that time there was an authentic farm sink, black granite counters, and quality wooden flooring. However, cabinet space was lost when the refrigerator was moved to the corner of the eastern side of the kitchen.
If you view the cabinet and vent over the stove, you will notice that they are sagging and breaking away from the wall. There are many other things going on that are part of the “as is” quality of the kitchen. Time has a way bringing about undesirable changes in people and kitchens. Fortunately, renovation can restore a kitchen. (Prayer does the same for people.)
We are now less than 24 hours from the beginning of the project. I, your most caring and capable host, will keep you informed of the progress.