The house where we are living until our new house is completed is well known to a lot of people in our town. It was built in the early 1970s but a popular University professor. Stories about this house abound.
The house is located high above town in an area that is very desirable. It is tucked into the junipers, the same trees that burned in our fire. There are huge rocks artfully arranged around the large yard. We understand that the rocks are from all over the world and were brought here by truck and then set into place with a crane. Someone had a design in mind because they are all very neatly and artistically organized with walk paths between.
The house, as we have written before, has all original parts with the exception of a few things, the cook top and a hot water heater most noticeably.
When we moved into the house in August there was one burner on the cook top that sort of worked and had a habit of working for a bit and then stopping. There is a jen air grill/griddle here that we cleaned up and were using but it took forever to heat and sputtered quite a bit. We used the microwave. We bought a pressure cooker/rice cooker/slow cooker combo that went south on its maiden voyage. We got califlour stuck in the pan and the pressure cooker lid would not come off. We had to go out of town so I mashed the pot into the freezer to deal with it when we got back. I so wanted to send it to the company. It was large so overnight mail was out of the question so three days would allow the cauliflower to ripen for them. But, I am a nice girl so I did not do that. Somewhere a few weeks in It dawned on me we could be using our nice camp kitchen. It worked brilliantly. Coleman Stove to the rescue. That worked well for a while but the weather was getting colder. We worked with the owners to finally get a cook top. Because of the fire, most of the plumbers, electricians and other building types are so busy they can hardly respond to anything but new constriction. On Thanksgiving Eve a very nice electrician came late in the day to install the cook top. It works reasonably well but is not a great fit into the gap in the counter since the house was so old that you cannot find a model to fit.
The kitchen it interesting. It has artfully swirling green indoor-outdoor carpet that borders perfectly the green shad carpet. That generally lets you know where the kitchen borders are. Except, that is, for the oven. To get to the double oven you have to step off the indoor outdoor carpet into the shag rug section, secure your hot goods from the oven and carefully make your way back to the main kitchen area without (a) spilling it, (b) burning your hands, (c) tossing it onto the Formica part of the counter thereby melting a big hole into the counter. Oh, and you have to turn a corner in your journey to the main part of the kitchen.
There is a lovely butler’s pantry but there are very few cabinets in the kitchen. We find ourselves going to the right place to get something only to figure out that we are on the wrong side of the wall.
The sink is magnificent. It is harvest gold and has two large basins with a vegetable basin in the middle in the center of which is the disposal. The vegetable sink is quite shallow. If you time it just right you can avoid being splashed by the water and I don’t want to know what else comes from the disposal. One benefit of it being to high up close to the top of the sink is that you can easily find the spoons and knives that sacrifice themselves over the ledge into the disposal.
The dishwasher works surprisingly well. It had an interesting song that it plays each time it washes but if you can get your ind off of the tacky chorus and focus on the people here you would now that is is OK for the dishwasher to sing its way to cleaner dishes.
One of the older folks in town told us that every time she goes by the house she laughs and waves. She remembered the kitchen well–and wishes us well with a hearty, “good luck” as she drives by.
On the beam that holds the house together are names inscribed. The names are of peole who were guests in this home. If you read them you recognize an important period of history for out town in the 1970s and 1980s. When we were first trying sort out renting the place I was feeling less than good about it. I looked on the beam and saw the carved letters of a couple we love and respect. I felt like there was enough of their presence to support mine.
This was a great party house. There is still karaoke in the basement along with several game tables, a bar and a conversation pit. We have not had more than three people as guests and that was for lunch.
I suppose we should throw a party for our friends and try to track down as many of the folks are in the area. It will have to be a pot luck since the kitchen won’t really support cooking for more than one or two life-forms.