Sunday, August 26, 2007
at home in the kitchen
My grandparents "inherited" this cabinet when they bought their house--a house they've lived in for as long as I've been living and then some. My Mom and Grandma "antiqued" it back in the 1970s, and then my Aunt T refinished it with class brown stain and glass panes etched with cattails and ducks. She returned it to my grandparents this summer, and Grandma called me to see if I wanted it. I did, but not in its present incarnation. I had visions of clear glass, and a pink-tinged white paint finish. I'd always wanted a Hoosier cabinet, but I feared I wouldn't have the time to refinish it before moving. Grandpa gamely volunteered to paint it for me for the bargain price of a few chocolate cakes.
And here it is, my very slightly pink cabinet, my favorite part of my new, large kitchen. I imagine all the women before me who might have rolled out pies on the enamel top. I think of the loaves of homemade bread that sat in the aluminum drawers, feeding the family for a week. Now, the cabinet holds my fancy glass, the bread drawer my vintage apron collection. I've taken to placing a vase of farmer's market blossoms--mostly vibrant zinnias this time of year--on the enamel top.
Someday, when I have the luxury and the money to design my own kitchen (I must believe that this day WILL come), I hope to pass up "modern" installed cabinets for a collection of "vintage" freestanding pieces. A pie safe, for one.
I move around the kitchen, still growing accustomed to the new layout, and as I bake my grandma's cookies, or make my Mom's homemade yeasted waffles for breakfast, I feel guided, comforted, and at home.