Beside my bedroom, bathroom and a 16-mile hall, the rest of my flat is an open floor plan.
I could have had just a giant living room, or a living room/barroom combo that the last tenant decided to go with.
But I chose to have a dining space, so that I could have those witty, sophisticated, Noel Coward-type dinner parties that I began throwing in my fevered junior high imagination.
I know times change but a large flat surface upon which humans can consume nourishment is probably de rigueur in perpetuity.
So, after I had purchased some super cool wooden and cast iron bar/dining chairs from Wayfair, I turned my attention to a table.
While scrolling through every iteration and style of those flat eating surfaces, I stumbled upon one that immediately that ended further scrolling.
It was a door on four porch posts.
I loved it.
I got a French door at Habitat for Humanity and four porch posts that I could only obtain at a Lowes in Garner. I enlisted my friend Stace and the kid. To their extreme credit, for which I am very grateful, neither by look nor word implied that I was at any time not on my rocker.
In the dining room caper, Stace was wheels, warehousing, and finally, delivery and set up — Mr. White Glove.
The kid had agreed to finish both table and posts in a manner of which would be in my taste, but chosen by my child and a surprise to me until an unveiling of the finished project — Van Gough.
My birthday, April 13, 2022, was decided upon as the debut of the tabletop, still in the guise of an unfinished door was picked up at Habitat for Humanity, and an earlier purchased, now runner-up door, was re-donated.
After pulling off the switcheroo, Mr. White Glove (Stace) ferried the imminent door to his home. In the garage, he set it up on sawhorses.
Van Gough was up next and the project slowed.
The ugly reality was a seven-day workweek, rheumatoid arthritis and its accompanying fatigue, coupled with meshing schedules of host and craftsperson and a shockingly shoddy memory on the part of a 30-year-old child if you ask me … led to the pace of a tranquilized sloth.
So, a couple of weeks before my birthday, April 13, I got involved.
Last Tuesday Stace and his amazing wonderful wife and loyal supportive friend to my eternally grateful self, Dr. Val (not caper-related; she has a doctorate in nursing) came over to deliver the finished table. To thank them, I made dinner. Val has celiac disease, so dinner was gluten-free.
We had a Mex-Tex salad, then really thick baked chops from First Hand Foods, a local meat purveyor that has heritage-level pork, buttermilk mashed potatoes, sitting on a pool of onion jam gravy.
I’ve cooked for Stace and Val quite a few times and Stace always likes my food (even when I, as he says, “push his palate”). That evening he said it was the best thing I ever cooked for him.
I think they liked it; they took home a big jar of my gravy.