Can’t Tell Me Nothing

a black and white rendition of the SE corner of the current kitchen. There's a window that will go away, and a range sitting squarely there

The kitchen plans, of course, look good. Why on goddesses’ green earth would somebody give a client something that looks bad. See what I mean?

There’s a lot of time between encounters–encounters between the design/build folks and the client. And for those of you not quite following along, the client in the equation is me. Doc. I want it to be done. Complete. Finito.

Maybe this is less about being done, and more about my impatience. Be that as it may.

The problem is that Doc is actually obsessing about that last batch of drawings. The batch in possession is actually one conversation/version behind. So, the pix that I have do not actually incorporate all that we said. All that we agreed to. All that I want to be.

Well, that’s not exactly true. There are notes and arrows that acknowledge the changes–but you don’t see them all. Not totally. There is interpretation required. See. I’m obsessing. I told you.

So, as you know, pretty much every day I stand in different spots in the house and try to imagine what will be. I’m not saying that this is healthy. I’m just reporting the truth.

Today, I’m looking at the plans and seeing that there’s a problem. I’m looking at the edges and see that there are two corners in play. One on the southwest side. The other on the southeast side. The cabinets join at those corners. I’m wondering how the hell you get anything into or out of those spaces. It’s geometry. Angles and space. This is not looking good. The space is blocked.

And then I look, again, at the drawings. I see some weird words. On the plans it says:

Blind corner with pull out magic corner.

An image of one of the drawings that includes an indication that a pull-out-magic-corner will save the day. Fingers crossed.

Of course. Magic. That’s what I needed!

I go to the Google and ask about the “pull out magic corner.” It’s actually a real thing. I know this because one of the sellers is AmazonDotCom. Has to be legit.

It’s a few wire shelves that are connected and folded upon themselves. These shelves are attached to a cabinet door to provide access to the dark matter at the joining of the cabinetry. You pull the door open and the storage unfolds, four shelves for pots and pans or for mixers and bowls or for plastic containers and their snap on lids.

I’m feeling more confident. You can live through anything if magic made it.

Dahlia Dalliance

A deep red dahlia.

Someone brought me flowers.

Why this night? Did I become Ms. Universe? Well, maybe that didn’t happen. There must be a selection board. Or a panel of judges that make that decision. Nope, I didn’t win a pageant.

Did I nail my recital? Taking a graceful final bow, my right knee bent, my toe pointing stage right, my left leg trailing behind; bent at the waist with my arms floating above the air and my head lowered modestly? Nope. I wasn’t even performing.

Maybe I needed some appeasement? I didn’t even know that I was angry. In fact, I was experiencing no offense so there was no need for a spray of apologies. Nothing to forgive.

Perhaps it was a hallmark holiday? Looking at the calendar, the closest festival seems to be Flag Day. And that was a few weeks ago. Even on the personal calendar, there are no birthdays (not mine) or anniversaries (not mine). Nope. Not a marker of a day.

Am I sick, or even more serious, am I dead? Thankfully, no to both of those options. I feel great.

But still, there is a bouquet. It is in my hands, and it is so beautiful that it could have been flowers for someone else. But they were for me. And I am well.

Who Tells Your Story

Preface to the new edition of a history of the US written by former Princeton and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. He was a bigot, too.

I was driving back from the Italian specialty store. They have fabulous capicola and even more fabulosa salami. I bought a bottle of wine for dinner. Oddly I selected Spanish, not Italian.

I had one more stop to make before home. The “you’re almost out of gas you idiot” indicator appeared as I pulled into the parking spot at my earlier destination where I bought a bag of dog food. The Shell station was next.

As I was pulling out of the parking space, I flipped the radio station from the droning trance music. Who knew they played trance on commercial radio? I settled on the left side of the dial. I was sucked in by an intoxicating southern timbre.

A man was talking about historical preservation and public reckoning, but his story was about an old building that was being preserved. The preservation was wrong. You see, the preservationists had confused the front of the house with the back of the house. And, more importantly, they omitted any context for the structure. This was discovered and then reconciled by research that consisted of talking with the people who had actually lived there.

The historian learned that the story about the house that the museum was sharing–the history–was not just incomplete. It told a story different from the truth of the people who were there.

The history hewed to a narrative that supported the dominant culture. It supported the idea that the people who lived there were broken and weak. But the truth was that the people who lived there were strong, with tight families and decent means.

Dr. King said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So the history that we are told makes the people in our heads. It informs not only how we see the people in the past, but how we see their descendants.

It’s important (at least I think it is) to not only seek and share multiple perspectives, but also–and this is from the historian on the radio–to allow ourselves to be surprised. Surprised by what we find, what we learn and to let it challenge what we have believed and what we thought was truth.

Striving to understand people, to accept that their truths may be different, and even that their truth (or my truth, for that matter) might actually be the truth can help align what history makes us with who we actually are.

Wow. That’s a lot of thinking between the salami store and the gas station. If this symposium snippet on c-span was any indication, the new National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place with a surfeit of surprise. I am open to it. You?