And then I went downstairs, where I found Larry and the handyman discussing when exactly to tear out the front wall of our kitchen. Yes, folks, my spouse is at it again.
So I was up late Monday night (well, into the wee hours of Tuesday morning, actually), preparing for Larry's next fit of destruction by emptying our kitchen hutch of 14 years worth of leftover craft materials, photo albums, CD's, and cookbooks. Then I had to relocate what wasn't thrown away PLUS the myriad other piles of kitchen crap that kept jumping out at me every time I turned around. Oh, and did I mention I also had to empty the pantry? It was a daunting task, made easier only by my discovery of an unopened bag of mini Reese's peanut butter cups left over from our New Year's party.
Finally, at 2 AM, I faced an empty hutch. In case you didn't know, 2 AM is an excellent time at which to get maudlin. EXCELLENT. So, yeah, there I was, eating peanut butter cups and feeling all weepy about the passage of time, reminiscing about the day Larry and I dragged 4 kids under the age of 10, including one baby, to IKEA, where we managed - in an unwonted episode of spousal harmony - to agree on a table and chairs and a matching kitchen cabinet. Considering that all our furniture prior to this purchase had either been bought used or found next to the apartment dumpsters on Moving Day, this was really a big moment for us.
|Looks empty, but it's actually full of memories.
That hutch? It became our catch-all for all the craft supplies my children have used over the years. I can't tell you how many times a day we have rummaged around in there for construction paper, glitter glue, paints, playdough, beads, craft sticks, magic markers, etc. And now, all those days, all those hours spent creating at the kitchen table, gone! Nothing left of them but an old wooden cabinet with its doors falling off its hinges and a getting-old woman in not much better shape, alone with her memories and her Reese's.
I did mention maudlin, didn't I?
The next morning (after a refreshing 5 hours of sleep), I watched the handyman break that cabinet up into pieces and haul it off to the dump. I managed not to cry, but "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" played non-stop in my head for hours. Because, dammit, it's true.