My Mary Poppins Act

      4 Comments on My Mary Poppins Act

As you read this, I am on my way back to Florida. Woody found a USEFUL $49 airfare, for my return flight. It has been a busy, chilly and adventuresome few weeks here in ChicagoLand. Lots of appointments – ranging from the doctor variety, to collision repair (the summer fender bender variety.) Thankfully there has not been any shoveling snow.

house in summer & winter

Mary Poppins

The highlight of my stay has been taking some serious steps toward a kitchen remodel. An idea which was hatched, on and off again, for the last 15 YEARS. My hat’s off to Catherine: clearly this is a project of great magnitude. Due to her broken arm, I get to do all the packing. She gets to give all the direction. Yes, right down to where I should place the tape on the box, and where I write the letters of what’s in it. It’s been tough. Generally, when people pack up storage spaces, they slim down on the quantity. Not so here. Nope, no, nada – everything gets packed.

In my juvenile perspective, I can only look forward to helping the new kitchen gain personality. (insert image: flying champagne cork, prepared to create some heavy-duty-divot-damage in new ceiling.**)

In sincerity, I hope – for the sake of beautiful simplicity –  Catherine can find the stamina to send some of her treasures onward. I mean, how many friends can you recycle the half-burned, birthday candles on, anyway?

Next Step

Create temporary, and livable, kitchen space during remodel. Catherine’s home has the perfect basement to accommodate a temporary kitchen. Doesn’t this sound like the fun part?? Nope, No, Nada. This was a difficult step. I was tackling the problem from my perspective, and failed desperately trying to verbalize my vision. I received stark, blank stares.

One afternoon, she came to see the progress.

I said, “I just made an executive decision.”

While gently folding a large, somewhat disturbingly real, stuffed monkey, I declare, “no children during the remodel. These toys will be boxed until the kitchen is finished.”

Catherine did not see the point. What a waste of my time. Those things could stay right where they are, they aren’t in anyone’s way.

I move the mini fridge. Then, I move the ancient icebox. That mini-beast belonged to her mother. “You put a block of ice in the top. You put your yogurt here… and then you empty the drip-tray a couple times a day.”

Old Refrigerator

Not on my watch. WE live in the 21st century.

That monkey’s time was due too – he always gave me the willies.


The Swanky Basement WetBar has had countless resurrections.

This week was MY TURN. The layout is familiar: compact, logical and efficient. Essentially a galley kitchen with character. I love the warmth of a heavily-beamed and paneled, basement fortress. I can hunker-in, so pleasurable during these cold, winter months. Wood burning fireplace, and plenty of wood too for fires… it’s a great space.


Wow. The most rewarding moment of my visit. Seriously, almost bordering that of childbirth. Catherine, well, ya’ know what? She sees it. “Yeah, this might work down here. Yeah, it’s comfortable. Yeah, OK, OK, now I see what you were talkin’ about. Yeah, yeah, this will work.”

**MOM, thank you for this vision/lesson. Imperfection is where life is LIVED.

4 thoughts on “My Mary Poppins Act

  1. Lynwood

    You were more than Mary Poppins. What you did and accomplished in a span of 15 days was a miracle.
    Organizing, packing, cleaning, cooking, patients, reorganizing, taxes, bills, moving tons of junk…the list will not end. I was there I saw you in action. You accomplished more than ten people. And you left before the snow and below zero temps.!! What will you pull out of your bag next? XO miss you already.


We enjoy hearing from you! Leave a comment here:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.