I have always wanted a white kitchen. Airy painted cabinets, cheery bright walls, warm hardwood floors. For the past four years, that’s what I’ve had.
When we moved into this house, we knew it was temporary – but we looked forward to it, all the same. We were excited about the prospect of walking to our favorite restaurants again, of living close to the library and the playground, of wandering down to the waterfront and feeling the breeze off the Potomac. Inside the house, though, I was most excited about the kitchen.
I signed the lease for this place on my living room couch, with direct line-of-sight into the tiny apartment kitchen in the temp townhouse in which we’d been camping out for six months before we moved home to NoVA. It was a miserable little shoebox of a kitchen. I tried to make the best of it, whipping up my homemade vegetable-and-bean soups with determination. But the kitchen was so small that if one person was cooking and one person was doing the dishes, we would literally step on each other. And more than that – it was dark, cramped, and inefficiently designed. No matter how much I chanted “Anna Thomas wrote Love Soup in a kitchen smaller than this!” I couldn’t enjoy cooking there. And forget baking.
This kitchen, by contrast, is like sunshine. The high ceilings and white cabinets make it feel spacious and bright, and the walls are a happy yellow. (We won’t talk about the mauve accent walls. If I owned the place, I’d paint them immediately.)
In this kitchen, I have…
Finally conquered my fear of baking yeast breads.
Burnished my pastry skills.
Cooked Thanksgiving dinners for my family – multiple times – assisted by my adorable sous chef.
Speaking of my sous chef – I’ve baked many a pie, cake, banana loaf, and batch of cookies with her.
And kneaded loaf after loaf of sourdough with my other sous chef.
I’ve whipped up gallons upon gallons of homemade vegetable soup and filled glass containers with sliced veggies and fruit. And I’ve stood at the window in the early morning dark, using all this bounty to pack school and desk lunches with a steaming mug of black tea next to me, and my sweet neighbors’ silhouettes moving around their warmly lit kitchen, behind filmy white curtains, going about their mornings right next door – a comforting view. Less fun, I have sat at the kitchen table late into the night and before sunrise of a morning, clicking away at my laptop computer, churning out legal briefs.
I’ve supervised pumpkin decorating and carving.
And wiped up many spills.
After countless cups of tea, loaves of bread and batches of soup, it’s time to move on. We are ready. Ready for (a little) more space, a spare bedroom to host family, and better public schools. Ready to save on rent money and school tuition and put those dollars into our retirement accounts instead. Ready to sleep uninterrupted by sirens and car alarms (except for the ones emanating from Nugget’s toy box at 5:00 a.m.). My new kitchen will be black-and-white – slightly smaller and darker, but with a breakfast nook so that we don’t fall over each other when we’re sitting down to family meals – and I’m already dreaming of the memories I’ll make and the dough I’ll knead on the black granite countertops. I’ve been measuring the space, deciding where my cookbook collection will go, and hauling trunkloads of appliances and lunch-packing supplies every weekend for the past month. I’m ready.
But all that said – I am going to miss this yellow and white kitchen, and I will take with me all the memories I have made here.