Hard to believe, our existing microwave died after three years of moderate use. One day it just started beeping at regular intervals and there was no response when pushing the control panel buttons. I wanted to get it repaired, but true to our disposable society, the service call and replacement part would have totaled more than it cost to get a new microwave.
While I toyed with the idea of what to do, the 4th of July happened. All of a sudden appliances everywhere were on sale.
I ordered my new, holiday less-expensive microwave from Home Depot and “saved myself an additional $80 dollars. I even waived the $70 installation fee and decided to order the same brand – almost the same model – and install it myself (with a little help from the kiddos). My thought was to pop out the old one, pop in the new one, and the nice men doing the delivery could just haul off the broken microwave.
The dimensions almost matched.
Width and depth were the same. Only the height was different, but that was a difference of 1.5”. I could live with the microwave hanging a little lower, right?
But the more I thought about it, the more I pondered raising the over-the-stove cabinet to a higher level. There’s almost 8” of space above the cabinet before hitting the ceiling. I could lift up the old cabinet by a few inches and have the bottom of the microwave even with the bottom of the surrounding cupboards.
Yes, that’s what I would do.
And then it arrived….
I started noticing the differences. The mounting plate was different. OK, no biggie. My plan was to move the mounting plate up as part of my master plan.
But the cord exits the microwave on the opposite side of where the old cord location was. So that means either 1) drilling a new hole in the base of the upper cabinet or 2) seeing if the new cord is long enough to make the stretch from under the cabinet to the old hole and then up to the outlet.
Moving the cabinet meant carving out a new hole in the back panel so that the outlet was accessible. No problem. I’ve got a Dremel rotary saw. I like it! The kids complained that it made a lot of squealing noises but I got the job done. New hole in the back of the cabinet…Check!
Now the stringer is in place, after locating the studs, attaching (securely) the new mounting bracket, and making sure everything is level. I’m just waiting patiently for Son #1 to get off the phone. He’s talking to his girlfriend and who am I to mess with young love?
You may think I learned all of my mad skills from Husband #1 or Husband #2. I didn’t. I gleaned information by watching classic craftsmen like Norm Abram, Ron Hazelton, and, more recently, The Property Brothers. I love working with my hands and this home improvement stuff doesn’t phase me. Husband #2 was impressed when I entered our relationship with my own set of tools: drill, circular saw, compound miter saw, and my Dremel. We had His & Hers tool boxes.
We were dangerous when it came to home repairs and improvements. Not because we didn’t know what we were doing…because we knew which walls were load-bearing and which weren’t. And we could build a header beam if we really wanted to.
This is where I miss Husband #2.
I didn’t need him to do these repairs, changes, improvements, whatever you want to call them. I can do them myself (or find some extra hands to help when I need someone to hold things in place). I wanted him beside me, figuring things out, working through the problems, taking a break under the maple trees when it was time to get a drink after working hard, and finally stepping back and admiring the good things we did together.
Something funny. When he left, he took off without his tools. His drill is still next to mine. The carpet stapler is there on the shelf with my circular saw. His big giant air compressor is out in the garage by the lawn mower. I see parts of him everywhere I turn.
And I miss him terribly during these times.