• Lyn Widmyer

Kitchen Re-Do: Ron ages 20 years in one day

Ron has been working side by side with the two wonderful young men from Clean Cut Construction to remove cabinetry, install wainscoting and repair the subflooring. After two straight 10 hour days,

Clean Cut team confers with the old guy

one of the young men asked Ron, “How old are you?” Ron responded, “How old do you think I am?”

Ron is 71 but he was so flattered by the question he figured they would say 57 or 58. After all, he was working just as hard and just as long as the two much younger fellows.


“Are you 78?” asked the 26 year old.


Ron was stunned. He went from feeling 58 to being judged as 78. Twenty years gone.


The good news is that young people must have a very positive impression of old folk and our energy levels. The bad news is they have a very encouraging impression of old folk and our energy levels. This does not bode well if we want young ‘uns to take care of us as we age. Instead of hearing “Let me help you” we might be hearing “Do it yourself.”


I hope cleaning the wooden cabinets we are keeping does not negatively affect Ron’s aging process. We ordered some highly recommended cabinet cleaner. It arrived with -–I kid you not—12 pages of Safety Data recommendations. Sections include first aid measures, fire-fighting measures, accidental release measures and exposure controls and personal protection. I guess putting ingredients like butanone, acetone, xylene and asphaltum in a cleaning solvent poses some risks.


Ron applied the Restor-A-Finish to cabinet doors-- outside as recommended (even though the temperature at the time was 35 degrees) and sporting plastic gloves to avoid the potential for mild skin irritation. I told Ron to be careful so Restor-A-Finish does not become Lose-A-Spouse.



My job while Ron cleaned cabinets was to do dishes. In the tub. I have not used paper plates because I want to save the environment from too much waste (this is rather ironic since Ron was outside slathering on a cleaning product laden with toxins). It is my commitment to the environment that prevented me from helping Ron clean cabinet doors. That’s my story and I am sticking with it.


Our 35 year old cabinets that we kept do look renewed and refreshed. Ron is still alive. And after hauling dirty dishes up a flight of stairs to the nearest water source I have compromised my environmental principles. We are now eating off paper plates.

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