Sunday, March 21, 2010

In Which Jeremy Breaks In The Kitchen

Jeremy pulled out his coffee bean roaster for the first time since he arrived home back in August.  It used to be that every Sunday our kitchen would be filled with the grassy, slightly acrid smell of roasting coffee beans while Jeremy hovered over the counter, watching the process with an expert eye.  And like clockwork, every Sunday our smoke alarm would go off because Jeremy, in his zeal to get roasting, would forget to turn the oven vent on.

Jeremy hasn't been able to roast his own coffee for so long because he wasn't able to access the kitchen in the apartment.  The galley-style kitchen wouldn't allow him to use his wheelchair, and standing for a long enough period of time to be able to roast his coffee beans and then use his espresso machine wasn't very feasible.  So he'd been making due with pre-roasted beans and a little French press, which just wasn't the same.  The man is serious about his coffee. 

The new kitchen is wonderful because it allows him to return to so many activities he enjoys that he's been unable to do.  He's cooking his own breakfast in the mornings again, has talked about pulling out the bread maker, and of course the espresso machine-- a little worse for wear after being shipped back from Afghanistan-- has once again been unpacked and now has place of pride on his island work surface.  As I'm writing he's in there doing the dishes-- not an activity that he necessarily enjoys, but one that I certainly appreciate and that he was unable to do in the apartment.

He seems so much more comfortable in this space, which makes me very happy.  Today when the smoke alarm went off in the kitchen the sound to me seemed more like a joyous shout of triumph than an extremely loud annoyance, even if I couldn't figure out how to turn the darn thing off and ended up bracing Jeremy's legs (who as the instigator of the alarms has a lot more practice at turning them off) as he wobbled on top of a chair to take out the batteries. 

I sat down in the living room afterwards and listened to Jeremy putter around the kitchen, making his coffee and telling happy falsehoods* to Connor about the fire alarm.  I didn't have to do a thing for Jer-- he was just fine on his own in there.  It feels like we've regained something that's been missing since August.

Feels like home.


*"You should always yell hysterically when there's a fire, Connor.  Like this: AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  Fires hate that."


Becca said...

Awesome. Awesome. Welcome back to independent living, Jer. Long may you enjoy it.

Niksmom said...

Such a wonderful thing, isn't it, to be comfortable in one's own home? So glad Jer is back to setting off the smoke detectors with gusto. :-)

Michelle said...

I am so very happy that you have settled into HOME. A place that lets you all be comfortable, that lets everyone enjoy what they can do, rather than spending all your time being frustrated by what you can't.

Our house is less "user friendly" and more "handicapped hostile". You have a set of 17 stairs to get to the main floor, which somehow seemed like a good idea when we bought the place. Forget wheelchairs, think just getting the groceries into the fridge. We've threatened to install a block and tackle off the front deck to start hauling Owen upstairs if he doesn't walk soon (no...not really, but there are definitely days when we're tempted). So, I am thrilled for you that your life has been made easier by the new house!

Julia O'C said...

Twice I have read the title of this post as "In Which Jeremy Breaks INTO the Kitchen"...Issues, I have them.

Congratulations to Jeremy on getting some normal back into your life. Actually, congratulations to all of you for that. You've certainly earned it.

xraevision said...

Nothing like a fire alarm going off to remind you of home! Jer certainly is serious about his coffee. I too LOVE my coffee, but have not graduated to roasting my own beans. I wish him many delicious cups made in your new and awesome kitchen (and no fires)!

xraevision said...

I forgot to ask about the gerbils! Are they happily rehydrated?!! (which, apparently, is not a real word)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh my goodness, between Connor playing ball and Jeremy in the kitchen, this is just all about happy.


(And, hope the gerbils are happily hydrated!)

Jess said...

Thanks, all. And the gerbils are doing fine! They have a new (non-drink proof) water bottle and after several days of doing nothing but sleeping and drinking are now back to their former energy levels. Though at least one of them possibly hates me now, due to the number of times I disturbed the little nest they made trying to figure out if they were still breathing. Oh well.


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