Sunday, August 21, 2016

Our kitchen is functional!

Today’s coffee: Tanzania

Has it really been two weeks since construction on our kitchen started?? By Tuesday night (August 9) the kitchen was functional again, and I started unpacking the kitchen on Wednesday… all kitchen boxes had been unloaded by Saturday! (This is a big deal... we've already been living in this house for 2 months...)

Our house. The old kitchen is sitting on the sidewalk. (Not our car, by the way. We have a Forester, which is in the garage.)
End of day 1 construction: new drywall and back-splash; new insulation underneath!
The state of things when we came home from class on the second day.
Main part of the kitchen is finished and functional! (Except that we have a propane take sitting in our kitchen until Thursday...)
Meanwhile, our friend, Shino’s dad, Inoue-san has been building us a bar counter. Around cabinets that match the other side of the kitchen, he is attaching red cedar paneling (from BC!) and the counter itself is gorgeous red Onko wood (Japanese Yew), which comes from an ornamental tree which we also have growing in our yard. Inoue-san is cutting all the paneling pieces to size by hand--he has mad skills with the hand saw.

Installing the frame of our bar counter
Attaching the counter itself
Lots of clamps and braces... and a cooking magazine. We're living here, after all.
Clamps came off... so pretty! Now we just have to do something about the ugly wall...
Current status: red cedar paneling in progress.
The idea is to make our kitchen more than just functional--friendly and welcoming so that when friends come over, they feel like they can walk right into the kitchen to hang out while I’m cooking, or relax at the bar counter having tea or appetizers. We’ve had a few friends in our house even while things are under construction, and the counter already seems to draw people in.

Another exciting part of the kitchen is the DISHWASHER. We have a (tiny) dishwasher!! They are becoming more common in Japan, but most people still don’t have them. We had a friend over last night, and being able to put dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher made such a huge difference in my ability to be present and relaxed. I can already see how the combination of a more open kitchen and dishwasher will make showing hospitality so much easier. (After a movie night with the youth group, it would usually take the two of us more than an hour to wash all the dishes.)

Keith starts the dishwasher for the first time!
We’re still waiting for the range hood and for propane tanks to be permanently installed outside, since we’ve chosen to have a gas stove. Right now we have a temporary fan and a propane tank sitting on the kitchen floor. We’ll also need to paint, since the walls… have 40 years worth of grime on them… yeah. We’re thinking red, and possibly part of one wall with chalkboard paint. But painting the kitchen is rather low priority. First we need to finish the bedroom, and probably next move on to the two rooms with flaking wallpaper and rotten tatami…

In the midst of all this, we are continually reminded that this kitchen, while being in our house for our use, is not only for us. This kitchen is a gift from God so that we can welcome people into our home.

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