Waiting and Waiting: Night Construction

Yesterday was the culmination of many hours of work and planning and decision making.  My days of going down to the basement to grab food from our back up refrigerator to prepare in my friend’s borrowed microwave oven were coming to an end. Our beautiful kitchen plans were becoming a reality.  I was so excited.  It was the kitchen remodel version of March Madness.

We have a big family.  With BIG appetites.  And BIG Costco grocery trips.  And I had finally ordered a BIG refrigerator.  When the delivery arrived…after a few measurements and shakes of his head…the dream destoyer told me that the refrigerator wasn’t going to fit.  He suggested I get one a few inches smaller…quite a bit smaller than my original fridge, which actually had the same footprint as the beautiful new stainless steel vision that sat sadly in front of my basement stairs (When lunchtime came and I had to head outside, walk down, and unlock the garage door to grab food from that refrigerator and then carry it back around to the front door I realized that the space Delivery Guy had picked was a failure in many ways).

I panicked.  We have been working with Marsh Kitchens, and I frantically texted (and called) Matthew that they wanted to take back my fridge because it wouldn’t fit.  He told me not to worry…he would be right over.  The delivery men left, Matthew arrived and reassured me that the measurements were the same as what I had given him during construction and it was going to all work out just fine.  (This was perfectly in keeping with my whole experience with Marsh Kitchens.  Problems were solved before they could happen and Matthew was there in person to make sure everything was going smoothly.).

The range installation was set to begin between 1-3pm.  My installer called to tell me he was about 30-45 minutes away, and I started dreaming about what I was going to cook for dinner.  Because that’s what dreamers do.  When Tim arrived to install he agreed that the refrigerator would be no problem, hooked up the waterline, and he and Matthew got the fridge into place.  Now we were rolling!  We had sold our old appliances to Matthew (did you know if you have the delivery company haul old appliances away they literally just take them to a dumpster??  Mine still worked!!  So glad we were able to save them from a landfill!!) so he loaded the old appliances up and hauled them away to use in his hunting cabin.  Perfect!

It turns out installing the microwave was not going to be a matter of minutes.  First, the dear installer locked his keys in his truck.  Then he had to patch up a space in the drywall to keep things airtight behind the stove.  Around 4:30 I realized dinner was going to be made in the countertop microwave I’d been using for a few weeks after all. Around 6, with both the range and microwave still sitting on the floor, Tim told me he needed some materials from the hardware store, and he’d be back.  Around 7:00 I started to worry.  Thankfully my husband was home to take our daughter to softball practice.  Around 7:30 I started to worry abou the protocol for this situation.  At what point do I figure he’s just left for the day??

Around 7:45 he came back.  Apparently one hardware store had closed at 6 (go figure), and he had to head to a bigger store a little farther from our house.  At this point 3 of my kids are in bed for the night.  At 8:15 Nick and the other two kids get back from practice.  We get them to bed and the construction noises from the kitchen dial up a bit.  It wasn’t until 9 that we heard the microwave running in the kitchen!  Within the next half hour both the range and the microwave are completely installed, and Tim calls us into the kitchen to show us how everything functions.

I am not a night owl.  Many nights I have already fallen asleep on the couch by the time 9:30 rolls around unable to stay up through a full tv show, so it me it might as well have been midnight. But my goodness did the install look great.  Things fit perfectly into place.  He explained the improvements he had made between the previous install and this one to make vents airtight and more efficient.  He heated a cup of water in the microwave to show us things were working right.  He carefully removed the tape and stickers and plastic wraps from the appliances. He apologized for things taking so long…but said he had just wanted to do things right.  And that changed everything.

I had been frustrated that the process had taken so long.  Frustrated that he had to get more materials.  Frustrated that it was SO LATE.  But then he explained that he would always rather do things well then do them the quickest way.  My goodness, isn’t that the care we want others to take when they are working on our house?  How many times do we want things done quickly and have to settle for shortcuts and “good enough”?  I am so grateful that Piedmont Installations sent Tim out to our house that day.  And I’m grateful for the reminder that the art of doing things well and with care is worth the wait.

I also may have stayed up a little later in the elation of a fully functioning kitchen and convinced my husband to help me move the kitchen table back into place. Because I wasn’t willing to wait for that!

(Read more: A Tale of Two Tables)

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