By Bill McLain
Every year when we get to our house in Mesa, like any homeowner, I find things that need attention. This year I repainted a wall in a bathroom, repaired woodpecker holes in the exterior stucco walls, sealed off the openings under our roof tiles where birds had been nesting, cleaned the detritus from rocks under the tree in the front yard, and did other cleaning jobs around the house. Most of these things needed to be done; others I did just to keep busy. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” (Proverbs 16: 27-29) and so on.
Some time ago Kris mentioned that she would like an outdoor kitchen in Arizona. Well, I was looking for something to keep me busy, so I decided to build her one. Having only a vague idea what it should look like, and without any plans, I dove in. Attached are photos of the initial construction of a patio extension and base for the kitchen through actually using the final product. It took a little longer than I anticipated, as my projects usually do, but with a few (well, more than a few) bruises, nicks and cuts, a lot of visits to Lowes and Home Depot (they each gave me my own vest and name tag), and a few online orders (but no vests), I am happy with the result, and I think that Kris and Jen are too.
Nana’s Notes: Bill started the project sometime late February, responding to my rumblings of how much I like the looks of an outdoor kitchen, and how I think they make a lot of sense in Arizona, especially when it starts getting hot in late spring. I had no idea how much work would be involved. You would think after nearly 23 years of marriage, I would know that Bill McLain does nothing second-best. He seriously spent the next seven weeks building the kitchen. He would get up early in the morning and the first thing he would do would be to walk outside with his cup of coffee and, well, I don’t really know. Check to see if it was still there, I guess. Once it got late enough that he could make noise (say, 7:30), work began. He would take water and bathroom breaks, stop for lunch, and then I would see him again about dinnertime. When he wasn’t working, he was on his Ipad researching and buying. When he wasn’t doing any of those things, he was at Home Depot or Lowes, or just THINKING about it all.
The result, as you can see, is amazing. We premiered our kitchen on the Saturday before Easter with family. The food, including the ham, was all cooked on the grill. We had a crockpot plugged in outside for appetizers. We sat at the bar that he made while dinner was being prepared right before our eyes.
I’m, of course, thrilled with the result, but also happy to have my husband back.
Here’s to Bill and his magnificent kitchen!