Crucibulum

A lovely Latin word for a “crucible, an earthen pot used to melt metals, or a night lamp hanging in front of a crucifix (i.e., fixed to a cross) or a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development, often creating something new in the process…” explains in part what happened to me from April 4th– May 21st (the time of John’s sojourn in China).

T’was not a pleasant season, but certainly a season of growth, exposure, purging, and a wellspring of beauty. It was all wrapped up in a project we shall call a “kitchen remodel”, that John and I had agreed would take place in his absence. And I got wrapped up in it as well.

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Old Kitchen


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He entrusted me with a myriad of financial and practical details.: 1) i.e., paid the workmen, 2) kept track of the bills, 3) choosing a new granite pattern after our first choice was sold out and having to go all the way to their Oakland factory, (a little bit of nail biting and hand wringing went along with that), 4) choosing the paint color for the kitchen, and the hardware for the newly painted cabinets (very vintage) 5) overseeing the new bamboo floor, and buying new baseboard which had to be stained to match the floor, 6) reattaching the living room carpet to the dining room floor, 7) choosing the color for lacquering the huge bookcase in the living room, 8) buying a desk and chair for our newly remodeled office, and I almost forgot, 9) faxing and scanning papers for our refinance transaction.

A huge sweep of newness came into our home, and I was swept up along with it.

It was like a river changing the course of our native habitat, creating a new landscape for us to enjoy, and cleansing it with more light. Lots of cleaning, changing and choosing ensued.

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New Kitchen with the lovely graniteIMG_1057

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Of course John and I were in communication almost daily by phone. We touched base, and touched hearts through it all. He was actually in a Chinese style crucible of his own remodeling a café for a missionary woman near Tibet.

Did I mention I needed help all along the way, and got it when I needed it? O my, the grace of God exhibited in my wonderful Christian neighbor who painted the kitchen hallway vestibule, and bookcase, AND who came back, touched up all the dings, and installed the new glass knobs on the cabinets, gratis!! An another friend who just happened to be there when John’s new office chair arrived, and gladly put it together.

And so it was….completed by the time John arrived home, the kitchen smelling of lasagne, his favorite meal. He walked around in a daze, hardly believing his eyes. “Is this the same house”? he asked. “Not really”, I said.