A Space of Our Own

A kitchen is a woman’s domain. A shop is a man’s shop. These places are designed to fix stuff; preferably supper or equipment depending on whose space we’re talking about but stranger things have been fixed in my husband’s shop and my kitchen.

Over time, these work spaces get furnished with the necessary and sometimes unnecessary tools and equipment needed to do one’s job. My husband and I are both partial to certain name brands of equipment and tools. He uses Craftsman tools for instance, and I love Pampered Chef and Kitchen Aid. (I was strongly influenced by the names when I bought them.)

My husband and I use some equipment in our work space that each other are likely to never touch. As simple as it is to operate, my husband doesn’t really want to know how to use the stovetop/oven. Likewise, I’m not interested in his welder. The required welding hood would give me hat hair like none other and I’m too modest to wear welding leathers. My husband’s leathers looks like a jacket but the cropped style just doesn’t cover up much of the midriff area. Plus, I don’t care to learn another skill that would encourage him to have me do another job.

My handy dishwasher is also an easy-to-use appliance but my family doesn’t acknowledge its existence and often pile dishes in the sink. Surprisingly, my husband prefers to use dishpans. They’re slick for catching oil during oil changes.

The shop workbench and kitchen table/countertops serve the same purpose; a place to pile miscellaneous clutter. When I don’t know where to put something that doesn’t belong in the house, I set it on the workbench. That seems fair since kids dump their items on the table, counters, and floor in my kitchen and my husband leaves his mail pile behind after he looks at it.

My husband and I each have items in our domains that we can never have too many of. For him, it appears to be ball caps. There are roughly 1,042,791; some dating back as early as the 1970’s, hanging from the rafters, as well as sets of elk horns, uncomfortable cowboy boots, dry-rotted overshoes, and barn cats—since the new pole barn isn’t completed yet. The purpose of these items, with the exception of the cats, is to provide a shop-like ambience while there. I apparently, can never have too many cutting boards and cooking gadgets; especially vegetable peelers and stoneware pan scrapers.

In our domains, my husband and I can fix anything. He can produce miracles as long as he has baling wire, electrical or duct tape, and gorilla glue. I can fix anything as well, with a pound of ground beef and potatoes.

We both store seldom-used stuff in hard to get to places. Borrowing these items can be hazardous if the item being searched for isn’t found easily or quickly. Power tools and kitchen appliances should never be operated by spouses under the influence of over-the-counter meds, alcohol, or frustration.

The easiest and most abundant things my husband and I can find in our domains are peace and quiet and alone time. Family members don’t stick around long once they start getting delegated to work.

This column was originally published July 25-31, 2010 © Amy Kirk

2 responses to “A Space of Our Own”

  1. Trainwreck Avatar

    Well hello, would you believe I stumbled upon your blog trying to find mine? Ha ha crazy that we haven’t found each other before? After all we have similar names;) nice to “meet” you I like the feel of your blog, fun and nice pictures. I can also relate to your post!!

  2. Robyn Avatar

    Thank you, Amy, for your well stated humor! How true!
    Sunday I asked J what he was doing in the afternoon. He said “I am not doing much; unless you need help then I will be busy!”
    Ahh, true love and honesty!

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