Our Last Dance

The year before he transitioned, my husband, Bob, and I embarked upon a remarkable journey; we remodeled our kitchen.  We had never had a ‘new’ kitchen, so we customized it to suit a 6’7″ chef and a 5’4″ prep person.  Being ‘Mutt and Jeff’ had finally caught up with us, but we  settled the difference with workable space.

Our 70’s kitchen wasn’t very big.  We had to utilize every nook to make our new space efficient.  I kept running into stuff from Morocco – a stool, some plates, a candle stick, and a tagine from   TJ Maxx!  I came to a realization and declared,  “I want a Moroccan style kitchen!”

The kitchen was gutted, all gone, via the designer who did the general layout of the kitchen.  I saw only stucco and tile in my eyes and portals to hold my Moroccan goodies.  I called my play nephew Charlie Johnson, and we, or I should say, he got busy.

myrtle dr. kitch. III

Portals for candles and shelves for ceramics. Tilers also tiled the fish in the window.

The walls came first. Then, the shelving.  No doors for these babies.  Those plates had to shine! I had a lot of steel from every appliance we needed – so I wanted to soften and warm up the space with curves, color, and granite. (Walls and shelving designed, and appliances installed by Charlie).  We had an artisan come in and treat the drywall.  I forget what they called it, but it was different from stucco.  That counter is high enough that Bob did not have to bend down to cook.  Fabulous!

myrtle dr. pix. II

Spice drawers, Moroccan stools,. Red tiles over vent for stove. Shallow shelves for wine and candles. Pot faucet .  (Painting above opening not finished.  Sue me.)

Of course, the cabinets moved like magic to our every touch.   Tiles are a big deal in Moroccan design, and while I wanted to pay homage, I wanted light and airy colors for the space.  I ordered the authentic Moroccan hanging lamp and stools.  Find the tagine?

Cooler drawers and coffee bar at counter.

Cooler drawers and coffee bar at counter. Copper sink.

The island overlooked the Gathering Room for great conversation, and we had plenty of it through the years.  We kept a busy home.  After Bob passed, I left my Moroccan music, but while it played, we danced.


6’7″ and 5’4″ dancing at our last annual Kwanzaa party.



Garden Spices Magazine


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