The Kitchen Companion

Grief makes you do some weird stuff. Like in the hours after I got back from the vet, I was in an eerily quiet house alone, and the only thing that made sense to me was to take a chainsaw to the broken sofa we’d been holding off getting rid of because Tank loved sleeping on it. (The chainsaw was necessary because we built the room around the sofa, so the sofa won’t fit through the door unless it’s deconstructed into three pieces. But that’s a story for another day.)

I knew that playing with heavy power tools with blurred vision and a foggy brain wasn’t a good idea, so I skipped the chainsaw that night, which proved to be wise because chainsaws and metal don’t mesh. I did, however, take a Sawzall to the thing today. The house was too quiet. I was working from home, yet couldn’t seem to focus on doing anything for more than a ten minute stretch. Now the sofa is in three pieces, and I’m feeling slightly better.

Turns out that a trip to New Jersey also proved to be helpful. Less than 12 hours from saying goodbye to our four-legged companion, I headed there for work. It turned out to be the best thing possible, guaranteeing I wouldn’t be alone until Chris flew in from Africa and promising endless hugs from my huggy parents. And during my stay in NJ, I had made plans to drop off an order in Goshen, all before my week took such a huge turn. I sometimes laugh at God’s timing.

Goshen, NY: I have loved that small village since I was in high school when I went to a bonfire there. Driving up there last week brought one of the first smiles to my face in days. Goshen was still Goshen, 20 years later.

The couple who purchased “the kitchen companion” graciously welcomed me into their historic home, and we sat on their screened-in porch together for a few hours, catching up and talking about life.

This wasn’t a stranger placing an order. Mary Sunshine (as I lovingly nicknamed her) and I worked together years ago at my dream office job. We hadn’t seen each other in over 15 years, although it will always be imprinted in my memory that she donated a box of her beloved beanie babies that once adorned her office to the children in Uganda that I was working with a few years ago. THAT is love, folks.

She married a pastor and settled in Goshen, NY, ironically one of the settings of my novel. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that “coincidences are God’s way of performing miracles anonymously.”  When she told me what they were looking for as a storage piece for their eclectic kitchen, I just sat staring at the pile of reclaimed wood for awhile. When I started building, the structure wasn’t planned. It was only after the framework was done did I realize what I had unconsciously done: embedded crosses in the side framing.

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The lower shelves are covered by a door that fits the piece almost like a solid wall. If you pull on the antique handle, it reveals the two shelves inside.

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Everything was reclaimed except for the 6′ rough hewn pieces on the sides. Created from a shipping crate and pine planks, this cabinet smells amazing. With the different stains and black hardware, it is quirky, complimentary, and functional. My kind of cabinet.

And Mary Sunshine?  She gets it. She fed me dessert first, knowing that I wasn’t up to staying for dinner. My kind of friend.

The kitchen companion, now in the historic home of a pastor and his wife, in a sleepy town that piqued my interest for two decades:

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And now it’s probably time for me to start sofa shopping.

 

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About Mel

My name is Mel, and I split my time living, working and playing in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern Vermont. I'm a reclaimed wood artist who loves to continually find ways to repurpose wood and give it new life. "Nature Calls: Reclaimed Wood Designs" is my business dedicated to doing that! Thanks for stopping by!
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