We got tired of sharing a bathroom, we were afraid as we grow older that we would trip and break our hips on the stairs leading from the kitchen into the garage and to our backyard; and since the only route from inside the house to our back yard was through the garage, we decided to remodel our 1,200 square foot cottage in Walnut Creek. It seems so long ago.


We did it right. We interviewed several architects and design/build companies, had an architect work with us to draw up some plans, and sent the plans out to bid to three contractors. What a shock we got when we heard back from the contractors. Just to open up the kitchen onto a deck in the back yard, which meant doing a big kitchen remodel, would cost us around $100,000. The most expensive house in my neighborhood growing up in Silver Spring cost $100,000! It's six digits! And all three contractors' bids came in at about the same amount.


So we decided to paint instead. And punch a hole in the wall between our kitchen and the corner of the living room we call the dining room. You know, it ain't bad for $1,400. It opens up the house to light coming from the East and West sides of the house. Another hole, or arched opening that was part of the house when we moved in, allows light to pass from North to South. I can talk to Michele when she is cooking and she can talk to me when I am preparing leftovers. I can read Michele my favorite passages from the newspaper, and she can watch my face tighten up in concentration when I do the daily Jumble. And when she sees me getting up from the table, she can get a head start to the bathroom.

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