If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile or know me in in real life, you know I’ve been without a working stove for, oh, about a year and seven months now. While I never intended to go for so long with just one burner and a non-functional oven, somehow one month stretched to two, which turned to six, and then it was a year, and then a year-and-a-half.
My stubbornness in replacing it was, as it often is, tied to my frugality, as I’ve been squirreling money away for a full kitchen remodel. Time passed, and I figured out pretty quick how to get by without. Yes, I had to cancel my long-standing weekly nacho nights with my ladies, but I got by with help from my slow cooker, microwave and ever-expanding collection of no-bake desserts. There are people with worse problems, I told myself, I’m fortunate to have a roof over my head. But this winter, when Christmas no. two rolled around, and I still didn’t have an oven to bake in, I started to feel really beaten down. I found myself entertaining less (my favorite thing) and staying home, being sad more (not my most favorite thing).
Fast forward a few months to a couple weeks ago, when, over happy hour, my friend Kate told me that she, along with a few other generous friends, had pooled some money together so I could buy any oven I wanted. I was shocked, elated, overwhelmed and really uncomfortable. I asked Kate to refund everyone, that this was too kind a gift for me to receive. I explained how I could afford to get an oven, that I was just waiting to get my whole kitchen done. “Let your friends take care you,” she said. “All you have to do is say thank you.” (She’s pretty smart, FYI.)
That’s when I realized this experience wasn’t really about the oven, it was about me learning how relax and push my pride aside in order to accept kindness from friends. As my pal Meggie put it: “Would you please just ride the wave?” And so I did, all the way down to Appliance Depot in Inver Grove Heights, where I found my dream oven.
Yep, she’s vintage, just how I like my things, a harvest gold General Electric from the mid-1970s, fully refurbished and clean as a whistle, inside and out. (Who knew I’d be so on trend with my color choice?) She was delivered a week ago today and every time I push one of the sweet old buttons to fire up one of the FOUR burners, or open the oven door and feel a blast of hot air on my face, I pause and think of the lovely people who gave me the gift of this gorgeous golden appliance. My kitchen feels like the heart of my home again, one that’s nearly bursting with love.
Photo c/o: We Had Faces Then.