Saturday, April 3, 2021

How an Apple Crumb Pie Changed My New Home Plans

The simple act of baking an apple crumb pie today, something I've done many times, was made almost impossible because of a torn MCL.

A little background on me. Many years ago, before I became a general contractor, a modular factory rep and now in retirement as the Managing Director of Modcoach Network, my wife and I had a catering business serving parties, grand openings and lots of 'firehouse' wedding receptions. For you city folk, a lot of wedding receptions are held in the large meeting rooms of the local volunteer fire company in small towns.

I know my way around a kitchen and love baking. That is until today. Peg and I love cooking for the entire family for all the big holidays including Easter Dinner followed by the Easter Egg hunt.

But life took a left turn on Tuesday when my bathroom sink drain needed to be replaced. With my arthritis and a couple of other things that come with aging, I still attempted to get down on my knees and work on it. It needed a part I didn't have and I went to Lowes, got it and when I lowered myself down to fix the drain, I heard a 'pop' and as they say, the rest is history.

And that brings me to the Apple Crumb pie. Being on crutches and my knee wrapped in a hinged brace, I set out to bake my Easter pie and that's when the advice of one of the contributors to Modcoach Network began running through my brain.

Valerie Jurik-Henry, the designer of The Ageless Home, has spoken at my events and at IBS, telling everyone that homes need to be redesigned to meet everyone's needs from cradle to grave and today she was right on the money.

I have never been on crutches or worn a brace before. Those two things immediately made me a candidate under the ADA guidelines. Making my pies from scratch means I have to move around the kitchen from stove to refrigerator to sink many times. 

All those once easy steps became a huge and very painful chore. Oh, how I wished I had a counter with an area where I could pull a chair or maybe a tall stool under it to make peeling and slicing the apples easier, and lower the tall wall cabinets so 5'2" Peg wouldn't have to get a chair to reach the glass pie pan.

Valerie is a big advocate of open space homes and that would have come in handy today as I maneuvered through doorways and corners.

At my events, she spoke of bathrooms being the most dangerous room in the home. That topic then started a conversation with Peg about how I am going to raise my leg high enough to get into the tub to take a shower.  We both have arthritis and turning doorknobs is getting harder. Valerie addresses that also.

As I'm writing this, Peg and I are still talking about what changes we should make to our present home and the plans we had drawn for our new one.

I wish I had hired someone to repair the drain but I didn't. And that repair has changed our lives forever.

Gary Fleisher, Managing Director and contributor of the Modcoach Network and its blogs.

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1 comment:

Valerie Jurik~Henry said...

Gary - I’m here for you! I am at your service for any future renovation or new home build that you’re planning with Peg. Thinking about our future self today will save money and heartbreak down the line.
All my best,
Valerie Jurik-Henry