What's Down that Lane? - Chapter 4
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Days passed and the work was getting done, quickly, too. The contractor was back with the plans on his design which took the stairs away from the entry door and took them from the center of the house, between kitchen, dining room, living room and an old bedroom that had been empty for years. I figured it had been the cooks room and the cook hadn't been here in a long time. But even the furniture was gone from the room - it felt strange in there, too. Like I was really alone. Not the feeling like someone was watching me, but I was just really alone there. A very sad feeling was there. No wonder, it needed a new window, some paint, and polish.
So with the contractor's lead we wandered the house room to room and he told me his plans for it all. It was based on my desire to make a restaurant out of it. He would rip out some walls and make the old bedroom, the dining room and the living room one large L-shaped room. I pictured it in my mind and could see the tables and chairs, no booths, white table clothes, chairs with a bit of an antique look to them. Wood and black leather seats. But they had to be comfortable and I was going to have to be looking for a long time for that chair I had in my mind.
The stairs would go up over the fireplace somehow and I wondered if I was going to like it, but it sure did cut down on what seemed like wasted space now and it would leave the space open for dinners.
He showed me what his plan was for upstairs. He even had a restroom for men and women laid out on the main floor and a small bathroom for each room upstairs. It incorporated the use of the armour being shoved into the alcove made by the bathroom when complete.
I liked his plan and set him to work on it, but first we went out to the little cabins down the lake. The landscaping crew was still back there finding more cabins and as it turned out there were 10, altogether. One was a total wreck but I had it in my mind to get rid of all of them and before I got a chance to say anything to the contractor, he was telling me to totally destroy the cabins and put in a building or two that would handle several couples and a couple of families. We talked and he said, "Oh! I'm sorry. I don't know where I got the idea that you were planning on having wedding events here. That's how I came up with this idea of having at least one building, probably two, that would be two stories high, look very southern with columns and have suites for the wedding party, as in parents and brides maids, groomsmen, etc."
"Well you probably read my mind, but I am surprised I hadn't thought of it before. We'll go with your idea as I have several ideas on how to make that happen. So let's proceed with the plans you have there."
He gave me his cost estimate and when we got back to the house I signed the contract with a stipulation that there were to be no cost overrides. He read it, agreed and left me with a copy.
I went home that afternoon feeling very well about myself, what I was doing and where I was going.
It was getting near Thanksgiving and the kitchen was complete at the Place. The walls between the three big rooms had been destroyed and the old bedroom had become a mens restroom and a ladies restroom. The entire thing was concealed behind a new wall with an opening in the middle. This turned my L-shaped dining room into a more rectangle but it worked anyway and I was happy. The stairs had been removed and it seemed strange. But I couldn't get up there as there were no stairs. There was a knock on the door and when I opened it, I found Calib standing there. I welcomed him in and he handed me a folded piece of paper. I opened it. it was an application form.
I smiled. "I'll hire you, but you can see it's going to be awhile. Will you be able to handle wedding events?"
"Of course. This looks good so far. Since the kitchen isn't done, I assume the equipment isn't ordered yet?"
"That's correct. I don't know what to put in here. But I think I know the guy that's going to be the chef here, maybe I should ask him? What do you think?"
"Oh, I think it would be a great idea to ask the guy who's going to be chef here," he smiled back. As it turned out, the things he felt were best to have in that kitchen were ordered that day and promised the next week. Two days before Thanksgiving.
"Let me come in and clean them for you. We can cover them afterwards so the dust and dirt doesn't infiltrate them and it'll make it quick to start using them when they are finally needed."
I agreed and gave him a copy of the key to the Place. "What are you going to name this place," he asked.
"I don't know but I've been calling it "The Place" since I bought it. Have any ideas?"
"I would think something southern would be ideal. The Plantation is overused, how about The Plantation at Bridgets?"
"Sounds interesting. I like the idea, but I, too, think Plantation is overused so maybe Bridget's Place?"
With that the back screen door rattled almost as if there was an applause. We both looked at it then at each other and then back to the screen door, which now hung silent and still. I joked, "I guess she liked it." The door rattled again and this time I looked at the huge oak tree with the Spanish Moss hanging down. Nothing moved, not enough to make the door rattle. I stood and Calib followed me. "What's making the door rattle?" I aksed. The door rattled again. I pushed it open, there was nothing on the outside that could make it rattle. I closed it and we both checked the way it hung in the door jamb. When it was closed, it was closed. It wasn't hung bad so there was no way a breeze could make it rattle, besides there wasn't a breeze when it rattled.
The kitchen equipment arrived right on time, Calib came and made sure it was set in correctly and then started cleaning it. The electrician had done a grand job and everything was perfect. The plumber had done the kitchen first as the rest of the place wasn't ready for his work yet so there was even a kitchen sink with running water. When I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner by Calib, I accepted and he took me to Bridget's Place. We ate our dinner on a table he had set up in the corner of the kitchen. He had made a small turkey dinner complete with mashed potatoes; apple cider gravy; fruit, nut, veggie and bread stuffing; butternut squash soup; home made cranberry chutney and sauce; green beans; rolls made from scratch; and strawberry shortcake. The berries had popped just before Thanksgiving and he decided it would be more fun to use them instead of pumpkin pie. I was delighted as strawberries were my favorite.
We were stuffed but we worked it off by working together to clean it all up, take care of the left-overs and make sure everything was turned off. We locked the doors and turned off the power and he took me home, with the left overs. He gave them all to me and I stuffed them in my refrigerator.
I made a turkey casserole using most of the left overs in it and took it with me to Bridget's Place the next day. It was nice to have it in a insulated cooler as the refrigerator was not turned on and cold.
I made my usual trek out to the tree and the stones. I decided they needed a new lantern in the tree and talked to the electrician. He told me he would add it to the lighting he was putting in for me around the lake. I asked him to make the tree lantern a priority and ignored his stink eye. He agreed. I went and picked out the fixture I wanted.
Between the electrician and the contractor the finished lantern was beautiful and worked on a switch that was light sensitive. It would come on in the dark and even had a motion detector in it.
I just wanted a light there. Someone had put a light there once and I felt compelled to put a new one in but a lot more modern that going out with a match every evening.
The cabins had been destroyed and hauled away and the contractor's crew was busy in two places. It was moving quickly and nicely. The landscaper came back every week to work on one area or the other but the place was huge and took more than one day to complete.
The house was done before Christmas, which thrilled me. I had no idea it would go that fast. I was cleaning it when Caleb walked in. "Thought I would stop by and see how things are going. Looks like you need some help. Go sit, drink some water and let me do some of this.
I gave up easily and did exactly what he said. I was bone tired but remember to pull my Verve(R) out and drink it down. It didn't take long before I was ready to go at it again.