Early this summer I took an overwhelmed looked at my kitchen and realized I would be forced to repair/renovate it, despite the cost. The original 1977 poorly built kitchen was coming apart fast. Drawers were broken or missing from the the bottom cabinets. The kitchen Formica counter top was not only warped, but also chipping at the edges, causing multiple unpleasant problems I do not wish to go into detail about. I had hoped the kitchen would hold out long enough so that I could save enough money to rebuild the kitchen the way I wanted, but I realized that would not happen. I wouldn’t have enough time. I had to have a functional kitchen and even functional was above my budget. I worked out a deal with a family friend and I borrowed money for the material. I purchased the material and for the labor a well skilled friend and I did it. My kids helped with painting the walls and ceiling but we put up the cabinets, appliances and such. I only hired professionals for the counter top. And through it all COVID took over the world, my kids finished the school year virtually, a storm knocked over my entire back fence, I fell in love, I climbed a mountain (a real one), my heart was broken and I was finally hired for the job I worked so hard to get. It has been a heart breaking and back breaking experience. It had a lot of downs. I found myself crying a lot through the downs. There were times when I felt like my old house hated me because while I kept trying to fix things something would go wrong in the kitchen or somewhere else in my house. My friend and I got into a huge argument because… it is unavoidable for two exhausted friends not to get on each others nerves when they see each other all day every day for days. On top of all of it the intensive labor had side effects on my condition. The aches and pains became unbearable. It slowed us down too and that caused more arguments and sometimes caused mistakes which add to our labor. I thought it would never finish. Washing dishes at neighbor’s house because I didn’t have sink to use during the repairs sucked. Eating fast food was not a healthy or affordable option so I had to get creative. Despite all the troubles my kitchen is now fully functional and I helped build fix it. It was a huge headache but also a great sense of pride. It is still not completely finished. I am almost done with the back splash that my sister helped put on the wall. I’m one tiny step away from sealing the grout, I still need to build shelves for the pantry and I have one small wall on the opposite side to repair. These are small repairs. I can work on them slowly and they don’t get in my way when I am cooking in the kitchen. Right now I can walk into my kitchen and smile. It took 12 years. It isn’t the kitchen I dreamed of but it is no longer the kitchen in my nightmares and that I love.