The Kitchen

If you were around Mary Brady in 2006, odds are you knew about her kitchen remodeling. I emailed Brady about something else entirely and of course asked her how the kitchen was progressing, as I knew that her reply would be almost as amazing as suggesting she go to Cracker Barrel*. Specifically, I asked her if she was ready to sew her face to the carpet over the whole ordeal. Her reply captures what it was like to talk to her and what I go to when I need to remember what talking to her was like:

And I am ready to do something drastic.  However I will not sew my face to carpet as all of my house is full of dirt, sanding debris, and  filth as contractors have been sanding old wooden cabinets for the kitchen (I refuse to pay outrageous prices for “pressed wood” cabinets when I  have the real thing; 40 years old but still tough), tearing out walls (lots of filth behind those walls that have stood for 40 years), and ingeneral making incredible messes.  You cannot even tell the beige  color of carpet any more!

I put off kitchen renov. For 30 years; now I know why.  It goes on and on and on and on.  Can’t boil water, literally. I saved my Mr. Coffee however, and stuck it in the corner of my  bedroom (house is literally full of all the crap that came out of kitchen plus new appliances that got delivered before contractors were ready to put them in.  Funny to see me run through 4 rooms to get coffee, water, a filter, put in pot and manage to get my drug of choice in the morning.

So– between students and the first test of the sem that always freaks them out and the fact that I live in a narrow-walled maze with a man who drives his wheel chair as if he were training for the Indy 500 and contractors who promise to finish soon, whatever that means according to them as we began this first week of Jan, I may take the head off any student who whines tom when they get the tests back.





*Why would I go to Cracker Barrel to get food that I can cook myself at home? …



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2 responses to “The Kitchen

  1. Margaret Greynolds

    This is wonderful. It captures her perfectly — adapting, adapting, adapting. We talked often about this, usually in her office because to visit the house was to add one more obstacle. I often wondered if when she finally got it finished for her 60th birthday, December 8 that she felt she had reached a major achievement in her life, but, of course, she hadn’t. Her students and her great patience and persistence were her greatest chievements, and they went on daily.
    Thanks for sharing, though I must admit these entries laugh and cry every time, but she comes back to me often in the middle of the night and her words are disarmingly clear as a result of the Mary Brady project.
    This is my best Christams present ever of all the years of my life.

  2. GLP

    That was the funny thing about Dr. Brady…she was exceedingly patient and simultaneously exceedingly persistant, and those two things weren’t at odds with each other like they would be in anyone else. There was always an ideal that seemed just out of reach but was still attainable if you were willing to do whatever you needed to do to make it work (like that kitchen). I always imagined that she sized all of us up like she did that kitchen and wouldn’t relent until we were remodeled into whatever we were supposed to be when she was done with us.

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