March 26, 2006

Is this what weekends are for?

Weekends are when we confront the hard decisions ... when we have enough time to really worry about something and do the research necessary to reach a conclusion.  This weekend was a biggie.

Linda has always been bothered by the size of the window looking on to the back yard. It was clearly too far off of the floor, but ... manageable? That was the question we've been wrestling with the past two days.

Here is the window in question

The offending window

Eye level view sitting at the table

Linda searches for signs of life in the back yard

A view of the table and the window showing the height of the bottom of the window relative a kitchen table

Another view of the table, the window and Linda

Joe looking through the Marvin Window catalogue

The window was just 8 inches too high. When we sat at a kitchen table we both felt that we were like children straining to get a glimpse of what was on the other side of the window.  We thought of every alternative: going back to a counter under the window ... but that was too narrow and we didn't want to face into the yard ... not good for dinner and it would have us sitting side by side. Furthermore the counter couldn't be very deep because the chairs would have to have room and the clearance to the island isn't all that great. We thought about bar stools and a bar table ... but Linda was uncomfortable sitting that high. And it would have been necessary to have something custom made to match the rest of the kitchen. We knew that we could live with the window at it current height, but we both knew that every time we sat down at the kitchen table we would think ... damn, that window is the wrong size.

So we had Ann and Joe over and confirmed that the sill of the window was unacceptably high and that the thing to do is to replace the window with one of the right size -- same width but with a main glass area that will extend down another eight inches or so.  A hard ... expensive ... decision, but it is clear that not to do this would be to have something that would always nag in our otherwise spectacular kitchen. We don't want or need that so this was the time to bite the bullet and make a tough decision.  Better now than having to tear the window out in six months because we just couldn't stand to eat at the table. 

So, do you or anyone you know want to buy a perfectly good, double paned, tempered glass, Marvin window?

For the end to this saga have a look at the May 3rd entry.

BTW -- we also made a decision to go with the GE Spacesaver II microwave.  Fits in the cabinet, looks good and solves the microwave problem nicely. The Sharp I saw on-line might have been better, but I couldn't find anyone in the East Bay that had one we could look at and I'm not keen to buy something like that sight unseen.  It would also have been built in so that any replacement would have had to fit the space ... exactly.  So, no convection oven and a small microwave (which I don't really think is a bad thing).

I'm coming to understand that projects like this are really a series of compromises often involving scaled back expectation. I'm sure there must be something in Zen that says that this is good for the perfection of the spirit, but damn it's hard sometimes.