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Chalk Up One For Mom

There’s a saying that what goes around comes around. I believe that more than ever.

Today, there are many popular TV shows featuring designers and home sellers. Some shows bring us designers for building homes and designers for decorating those homes. Each is as different as the next, which makes me wonder what is really fashionable in today’s modern homes.

And during a pandemic when we have all been hyper-focused on amusing ourselves in front of the TV, I will admit I have watched more than my share of these shows. Sometimes I find myself smirking at the insane designs of some of the homes inside and out.

Other times I have been known to yell at the screen after yet another young couple balks at the perfectly fine “old-fashioned” oak kitchen cabinets they say must go.

The next thing you know, the entire kitchen is being torn out and redone to meet the in-crowd of white-kitchen-cabinets-only followers. But I really had to laugh when one designer thought he was so clever to install a small chalkboard on the bottom row of the kitchen island cabinets. Sorry but someone beat you to that idea 60 years ago.

When I was growing up, my mother placed an authentic classroom-sized chalkboard on the wall just off the kitchen near the washer and dryer. There was always plenty of chalk and erasers.

This chalkboard amused, educated and fascinated at least three generations of youngsters who perched themselves in front of it much to our mother’s delight. It became a right of passive for the grandkids and great-grandkids to find the joy in being covered with chalk dust.

Sometime we practiced our math problems there or taught each other proper cursive handwriting. Other times someone would draw a beautiful picture representing a specific holiday. Even our dad got into the act on occasion and wowed us with his character drawings straight out of the funny papers. Rarely did the chalkboard serve as a message center as it was intended.

As for the old oak cabinets in the kitchen, my mother was ahead of her times in that regards, too. She painted those cabinets so many different colors over the years, the sheer weight of the paint made it difficult to close the cupboard doors. Yellow was one of her favorite paint choices that went along with the floral wallpaper.

I’m sure the folks at Shutler Cabinets in Moundsville would have gasped at the sight of her handiwork. When I married and we moved into our first-ever home, the master cabinet makers at Shutler created some of the most beautiful hickory kitchen cabinets for us.

The thought of painting them white would never have crossed my mind.

And now in our present home, I am waiting for our oak kitchen cabinets to come back in style — paint or no paint.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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