Eating Out and Eating In

My daughter decided it was time to re-model my kitchen. She hired a team of outstanding contractors, cabinet-makers, plumbers and electricians who began working in late November.

Everything new. New floors, new refrigerator-freezer, new oven, new stove, new wall-microwave and fifteen new maple-wood cabinets from floor to ceiling, new stainless steel sink, new marble countertops and backsplashes of colorful ceramic tiles. Kitchen walls painted a bright yellow. Vases of artificial flower arrangements sitting on the window sill. Two new lighting fixtures. One above the central kitchen area and another light with an overhead fan in the dining area of the kitchen. A virtual complete make-over.

All at a cost of approximately 81,000 shekels. And the work which began in November will be completed by early next week.

The biggest problem for me was not the dust and not the noise of drills, saws or hammers. It was for my inability  to cook, boil water and to eat in my kitchen for so long a time. I spent my mornings and afternoons eating out. One café for breakfast daily and one or two restaurants for afternoon lunch. The saving grace was the evening meal. My daughter invited me to join her for dinner in her apartment every night.

But I must make a “celebratory” feast next week when a completely sparkling brand new kitchen will allow me to eat in again !!!

Interestingly, the re-modeling enabled me to make new “friends”. The waitress in the café recognized me each morning and she poured the steaming-hot coffee into my mug as soon as I was seated.

Each morning she would ask me how I was feeling, how the kitchen re-modeling was progressing, and at the end of the meal she would say “see you tomorrow, same time, same seat. Enjoy your day”.

I would often see elderly men and women sitting at tables chatting in different languages while enjoying their coffee with muffins. I wondered why they were at the café every morning. And the waitress told me later that they were mostly lonely,  widows and widowers, who found a place to socialize, to talk, to share, to drink and to nibble on muffins ….. possibly  their only meal of the day.

Eating out by myself was not always pleasant. Lacking for company to sit with and to share conversation can be quite lonely. But after my eating-out breakfast I returned home and truly rejoiced when I saw the work in progress. The contractor was an absolute magician. He turned an old kitchen into a palatial one.

Each night, eating dinner with my daughter in her apartment, she would share accounts of her interesting day… how many criminals she had to prosecute in the courts, how many depositions she had to take, and occasionally what prisoner did she have to meet with in jail prior to his/her court appearance.

Some of the stories were humorous. Some were sad. But the scales of justice had to be balanced.

Now, at last, I am able to eat in once again. No more cold platters of hummus and tehina on top of cold vegetables.

Today I boiled a pot of chicken soup on the new stove while the rest of the chicken was baking in the new oven. A hot meal in my new kitchen, at last.

Stubbornly, my wonderful daughter refused to allow me to share the re-modeling costs with her. There must be a way for me to reward her as an expression of my gratitude.  Can anyone make a suggestion?

Thanks to her for a spacious new kitchen.  And thanks to Almighty God for giving me such a loving and blessed daughter.

“K’ima shela, ken hi”. As wonderful as was her beloved mother, so too is she. “Ha tapuach lo nafal rachok min ha etz.”

The apple did not fall far from the tree.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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