We have found the process of deciding on how best to build our house back exhausting, confusing and fraught with what-ifs. What if we make the wrong decision. What if we do it this way. What if we do, do it this way will it cost too much? Is it too big? Is it too small? Can we fix what was stupid in the floor plan of the old house and still have the same house? Can we move the deck from the east to the west and will it be the same deck?
We are close. Very close. I am somewhat confident that what we are close to is at the same time the old house and the new. We liked the old house and it is what the insurance company will pay to rebuild. The new house is the old house but is more green, a bit more space and a lot more handicap friendly as we think about aging in place.
It seems that our cake really can come out of the oven. We have a family story that is supposed to be true. I suppose it is a fable that every family claims some version of. Regardless it is a good story for us. In my childhood family and now our home whenever someone is bogged down and not thinking right someone walks by and says, “That bell dun rang and rang and that cake still aint come out of that oven.” Today we think we got the cake out of the oven.
Here is the family story of the cake
When my mother was a teenager everyone had help. Sometimes, as all the Ladies agreed, “finding good help was nearly impossible.”
One of the most Important Ladies in her town was Mrs. Coffee. She was well known for her cakes and pies. One day she had a new maid and was careful to instruct her what to do. She set the maid to ironing while she baked one of her Famous Cakes for the Big Doings in town on Saturday.
A problem arose at the Church regarding the arrangement of the cakes and the pies for the Church auction that was to be had at the Big Doings which were the next day. As Mrs. Coffee was in charge of the committee that oversaw the auction for the Big Doings on Saturday, she had to go to town and deal with the problem before Miss. Lula and Mrs. Clements, were mother and daughter, both of strong opinions, came to blows over the table arrangement. Problem was, the cake was still baking.
Mrs. Coffee took a deep breath and decided to trust her new maid to take the cake out of the oven while she was gone. She got her hat and purse and marched resolutely into the laundry room where the new maid was ironing. Mrs. Coffee said, “When the bell rings, the cake will come out of the oven.” The maid, deferentially as she hoped to keep this job with one of the most Important Ladies in town said, “Yes mam.” Mrs. Coffee said, “Tell me now, what are you supposed to do?” The maid replied, “When the bell rings, the cake will come out of the oven.”
Satisfied, Mrs. Coffee, strode off to town to deal with Miss. Lula and Mrs. Clements. An hour later, having solved the problem, she headed home thinking about where her cake would sit on the laden Church Cake Auction table. When Mrs. Coffee neared home she could see the smoke billowing out of her open kitchen window. With a cry of distress, she ran into the kitchen and sternly asked “What in the world happened here?” The maid was standing in front of the oven with a dishtowel waving it in the air in a fruitless attempt to quell the billowing smoke coming from the oven. She replied with anguish in her voice, “Miz. Coffee, Miz. Coffee, that bell dun rang and rang and that cake still aint come out of that oven.”