In my pre-fire life, I used to think about redecorating my kitchen. Apparently some people actually do that kind of thing, but in a single-income seven-member family, you replace things when they break with whatever you can afford–you don’t “redecorate.” Granted after twenty-some years of marriage and five kids, most of what we had started out with had been broken and replaced already. Nothing matched, and I’d quit caring. It was so miserably hot that I spent as little time as possible in the kitchen anyway.
Still, a girl can dream, and I used to dream of a red kitchen.
Post-fire, the kitchen was gone along with everything in it. Located next to the garage which seems essentially to have exploded, it was incinerated. Shards of dishes were buried in the ashes beneath the former location of the cabinets where I kept them. Jake dug through the ashes where the pots and pans were kept, hoping to salvage my favorite cast iron pot, but its bottom was gone. The only things that remain are two spoons we found in the yard, some plates and cups that were left out in the car, and the last remaining fork from our wedding flatware, which Jake retrieved for me from the blackened hulk of the dishwasher.
One of the first of many, many gifts we received post-fire was a set of Paula Deen cookware. And it was RED. Suddenly I realized that redecorating was a necessity and the red kitchen could be a reality. Happily, the palette of the new house lent itself harmoniously to the red theme. Target gift cards supplied coordinating appliances and accessories–it’s actually amazing how many red kitchen things there are! Serendipitously red kitchen gadgets arrived from friends as if by magic. Even the donated dishes (I’m still way too thrifty to buy red dishes when we were given at least three separate sets) harmonize with the redness, and I find their definite late-80s vibe comforting.
Our new kitchen is open to the adjoining family room, so there are a few red accents there too, and I got a red rug and hung some red pictures down the hall to the office. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and it makes me happy every time I look at it (when it’s clean, that is).