Friday. A run-through this afternoon, a little get-together with the cast after rehearsal, and then home tomorrow. I briefly considered driving home tonight but the interstate will be backed up and frustrating and I’m thinking it’s better for my sanity to remain here this evening and leave tomorrow morning.
In some ways, actually, in many ways, I still think of myself as a young adult. I can’t tell you how many times Don and I have said, “Does this mean we’re adults now?” Part of that feeling is probably due to the fact that we never had children. I imagine having a child quickly puts one in the adult category.
Because I went back to school in my early thirties, earned my Master’s degree and then started teaching, moving from Philadelphia to Boston and Cambridge, changed jobs and moved to San Diego, then changed it all up again and moved to New York state, I’ve always felt a bit like a not-quite-grown-up-sort-of-adult. Renting for so many years definitely contributed to that feeling.
Since we didn’t buy our cottage until we were in our fifties – so much later than all of our peers – again came the question. Are we adults now?
I bring this up because Don and I were talking the other day and I said that I felt that buying Stella was the most adult thing I’d ever done.
Crazy? Not really.
We saw her in Los Angeles at Antique Stove Heaven when we were at the start of a trip that would take us all the way across the country to our home in New York. We spent two hours with Marco, who told us all about the work they do, sharing valuable information with us, patiently sharing the love he has for these beauties, which made us ask for his card and for the price on one particular stove. Throughout the trip home, Don would say that he couldn’t stop thinking about ‘that stove.’
When we got back home, we talked about her off and on. We were definitely interested but Don said that he wanted to know that he was going to move on with Escape to Margaritaville before we made a move. However, I worried that someone else would buy that stove before we could. We discussed the pros and cons over and over. Finally, we decided to call Antique Stove Heaven and make a down payment. We had the money in savings and we knew this would be a big expense but when something speaks to you as strongly as this stove was speaking to us, you have to go on faith. We were going to buy it whether or not Margaritaville happened.
But ordering a stove from across the country is very involved. It had to be converted to propane. It had to be detailed. It had to be professionally crated. ASH gave Don a list of shippers and Don (bless him) called them all to get a shipping rate. We arranged for the shipping. The shipper then contacted ASH about a pick-up day. Don did all of this while I was in Hartford.
Then we had to rent a certain kind of dolly – a refrigerator dolly with straps. We had to rent packing blankets. We had to measure our doorways to see if she would fit through. We had to consult with our local guy to see if there was a place that we could safely put the propane tank (it has to be 5 feet away from a window and we have a lot of windows in the kitchen.) We had to arrange for disposal of the black stove. Don had to time the arrival of the crate with the availability of his friends because we needed them to help move the stove into the house. He needed to open the crate a certain way, per Marco. Then he had to arrange for the hookup of propane the next day.
Now, people do this sort of thing every day and I know that.
But for us, buying a major appliance 3000 miles away from our home, wanting it so much that we were willing to do everything we could to bring it home to the cottage, having a dream of what we wanted to see in our kitchen and then following through? That’s pretty adult.
We’ve never done a major renovation of a home. We’ve never built a home. All of those accomplishments are pretty darned adult, if you ask me. But since we are freelancers with a limited income who never had our own home until 12 years ago, who buy used, vintage items for our home; always trying to get a good deal, almost never buying new and certainly never spending a lot of money on a household appliance, this is a big deal. This might make me an adult.
We’re both late bloomers. We didn’t meet until we were in our forties. Don hadn’t known what it felt like to have the security of a real home since he was nine. I never seemed to have enough money to do anything other than rent. Neither did Don. Both of us thought that the dream of owning a home, even settling on a place in which to buy a home, was not going to happen.
But dreams do come true. A lot of my dreams have come true. One was a dream I’d had in my early twenties – that of living in a cottage in the country. There have been many more dreams that have come true.
And I did have a dream about owning a vintage stove – I think I’ve had it for at least twenty years. That dream came true, too. Instead of my usual, “They’re in Los Angeles so I’m never going to have one” I went with, “Oh, yes I am.” The adult part was taking the steps to make it happen.
Just some thoughts on this Friday from a girl who is a late bloomer.
Someone wrote me to ask the cost of the stove, etc. A note to everyone: if you respond to me via a reply on the email version of my post, I can’t respond to you directly. Those emails come from an address linked to the blog and my server. The best way to contact me is via a comment on the blog or the email address in my sidebar.
She wanted to know, if I remember correctly, the price of the stove and the name of the place where we purchased it.
Every stove is different and you can find them on Craig’s List and elsewhere for less than what we paid. But then you need to pay someone to restore it. We eliminated the middle man (which worked best for us) and bought from Antique Stove Heaven, a place I’ve known about for years and a company that has an impeccable reputation. If you go this route, a fully restored large stove will run, at minimum, a couple of thousand dollars. Converting to propane (if you have no access to natural gas) is an additional cost. Crating is another cost, as is shipping it across the country. So, it’s an investment. To us, it was worth it. We’ll use Stella every day. She will only appreciate in value, so the investment is a sound one.
For goodness sake, we’ve rearranged our furniture temporarily so we can see her!
As for Antique Stove Heaven, I can’t say enough about them. They are only a phone call away if we have questions, and we have taken advantage of that. They are patient and smart and caring. Marco called Don the day before yesterday because he was worried something had happened to the stove. (We’d spoken to Raymond when the stove arrived, but Marco didn’t know that.) Marco wanted to make sure everything was okay and that we were happy. That’s the kind of customer service they have. They sent us detailed photos of the pilot lights, etc, a few weeks back. They gave us detailed instructions as to how to dismantle the crate and how to maneuver the refrigerator dolly in a way that kept the stove and the guys safe.
They are the best. This is the link to their website. They have two locations in Los Angeles and if you’re lucky enough to live in that area, they’ll hook your stove up for you. If, like us, you live far away, they’ll talk you through it on the phone. They routinely ship all over the country and to Canada, Mexico and beyond.
I know I’ve ‘talked’ your ear off today. Thanks for listening.