We have managed to get through a kitchen project — refreshing our 1950s/1980s kitchen with new user-friendly cabinets, which allowed for a wider countertop (no longer necessary to place flour and sugar bins on kitchen table while baking) and a larger sink (no more splashing on floor when washing baking dishes). Although it sounds straightforward in a sentence, it was rather involved. We decided to turn it into an adventure. We cooked outdoors on a camp stove and gas grill for eight weeks. We dined at a long folding table. We were sprightly for most of the weeks, but by the seventh and eighth weeks, we were mighty eager to return indoors. And now we have! We have enjoyed two dinners at our kitchen table. We still have curtains to sew and a few spots on the walls that need a bit of touch-up with a paint brush. We are especially delighted with the built-in tea and cookbook cupboard, where a pocket door existed early in our 1940’s house’s life. And behind the cupboard, we placed Natalie’s “letter to the future.”
“To the current residents of our beloved little yellow house: Having read a number of novels in which an old letter is discovered behind a bookcase, in a piano, tucked within the frame of a painting, etc., we have decided to leave this for you.
I wonder what year it is? What’s going on in the world as you read this? It is 2016 as I write this (my name is Natalie McDonald, by the way). We are in the midst of the 2016 presidential election, which we are hoping against hope will be won by Hillary Clinton — hopefully you remember her as a great president of U.S. history. The Olympics are also currently under way in Rio, Brazil, where Michael Phelps has just won his 25th medal.
Enclosed are a few photos of me and my parents. We have lived in this house for exactly 19 years. We are installing this letter behind a bookcase, which is to be inserted into the wall in just a few minutes by our carpenters Steve and Miriam. They are the ones who have built all our built-in bookcases in the house. We love books. One of my favorites I’ve read this year is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I hope you still read books at this indeterminate date in the future when you are reading this. I hope for a lot of other things too: maybe global warming has been resolved by the time you’re reading this, maybe progress has been made on social justice throughout the country and the world…. Anyway, we hope you love this house as much as we do. Who knows maybe (as long as you’re not reading this in 2100), I’ll come visit one day.
Best regards from the past, Natalie
Dinner #2 Pictured Below: grilled salmon and brussel sprouts by Bill; arugula and peach salad + mashed red potatoes with skins by Natalie; photo by Pamela