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Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Starting Over ~ A New Home

These match. Mine don't :)

These match. Mine don’t 🙂


Happiness in a  home can be measured in closet space. Whether you live in a one bedroom apartment or a four bedroom ranch house, closets are the real in “real estate.”  As an extra challenge, basements don’t exist in the southern tier of this country, So say goodbye to a terrific storage alternative. I spent my early married life in Massachusetts in a house with an unfinished basement, but it was large enough for us to throw down a rug and use as a playroom.  Mike even built a “sports” closet under the staircase–much appreciated for the basketballs, baseball gloves, ice skates, even sleds and whatever else kept our three boys busy during each season.

Then we moved to Texas, and now live in Florida. Southern enough? Definitely no basements. My organizational gene was challenged, but with a little surprise help, I conquered this issue..

In Texas, my lower kitchen cabinets were filled with a hodge-podge of pots, pans, storage containers, cutting boards, trays, colanders and even a George Forman grill. I will never have a color coordinated matching set of anything because everything I have still works beautifully, So how can I throw them out? Besides, I’m a basic cook. A decent basic cook. I know which pots I use for brisket – the two Dutch ovens. I know exactly which crummy one I use for boiling eggs so no other pot will turn black inside.  I’ll admit I’m a creature of habit and comfortable with my array of stainless.

But I wasn’t comfortable messing around inside the cabinets, trying to dig out the exact pan I needed. Aerobics in the kitchen. Bend. Reach. Bend. Reach. Left, right, center. Crash. Crash, crash. Oy, the noise! Every time I went through another crash routine, I’d think about installing sliding drawers which I’d seen at Lowe’s. But then I got busy and forgot about it until the next time.

Finally, next time arrived.  One Saturday, I walked into the kitchen to see a mess of Reverewear, Farberware, Emeril and whatever else I’d collected all over the floor. Mike was lying on his back, his head and arms scrunched inside that bottom cabinet. I could hear the curses and grunting emanating from the depths. Then the commands:

“Lin, hold this screw.”

I held it.

“Lin, I need the screw.”

I gave it.

And twenty minutes later, I had a stainless steel two-drawer storage unit. Pots on the bottom; covers on top. I couldn’t stop smiling.

“Surprised?” he asked.

“Sure am. How did you know to take this on?”

“Hard to miss with all that complaining you did.”

“Moi? Complain?”

His eyes gleamed. “Maybe just a little. Now, how about a kiss?”

I stepped closer, my feet bumping into the pans still on the floor. This time, I didn’t care about the noise. All I saw was the pleasure on Mike’s face for having made me happy.

So maybe “real” isn’t about closet space at all.

In Florida, I actually have enough drawers for the pots and pans, but those plastic and aluminum foil rolls, the plastic baggies and dish washing soaps had to go somewhere. And the space beneath the sink is totally inadequate the way it is.  Another item on the “honey-do” list.  And another kiss–maybe more than one–from me. Just keeping it real 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by, Hope I see you next time for another story about Starting Over.


Thanks so much for stopping by.  If you have a story you’d like to share about what love looks like to you, send me an email and it might appear in this column. Spelling and grammar don’t count!  

DRAWING:  Remember to leave a comment and your name will be in a drawing for a free copy of Family Interrupted. Drawing held at the end of the month.   


6 thoughts on “Starting Over ~ A New Home

  1. I’m ashamed to say I expect rolls of aluminum foil and waxed paper to fall when I reach for the cling wrap. I reach with one hand and push or catch the dislodged items with the other. Those roll-out shelves sound tempting. My compliments to Mike.

  2. I’ll certainly pass that along, Pat. He became very handy-dandy after he realized he enjoyed the compliments he got. Nothing like a little motivation 🙂

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