kitchenDrum roll, please…..


365 days after we bought our home in Kansas it finally happened:  we sold our house in Oklahoma! Can you imagine the odds on that? 365 exact days!  😉  During the past year we made ten trips back and forth – a total of 6,200 miles – most of them with three dogs tagging along.  But, now it’s a page turned in our lives.  Not without some drama, though.   As my friend Marcia pointed out,  “Drama follows you, Sally.”  Oh, well.  Next life I’ll try for a spot in Hollywood. If you are interested to know more, read on…   but beware, no recipes in this post.

We scheduled the closing of the sale for 4pm on Friday, May 31st.  Still, lots of things were left to do to completely empty and clean the house for its new owners, so we drove to Norman a couple of days beforehand. That Wednesday, May 29, both Kansas and Oklahoma were under a full-blown tornado watch for most of the afternoon and evening. We hit the road around 1pm, driving with one eye on the highway and another on Intellicast radar.   We made it home with 8 minutes to spare before the storm hit.  Driving through Moore was a sobering experience that recalled May 1999.   The area of destruction is narrow, but it is complete.  Imagine a gigantic lawnmower passing through and turning homes and trees into small sticks and dirt. Unless you see it you can’t comprehend the violence of a tornado of that magnitude.

We were excited to arrive home, not only because we made it before the t-storm, but because we wanted to see the new roof installed last week. Our house suffered hail damage from one of the many storms earlier this year, so we had to take care of that and replace the roof before selling the property. What we did not expect was to arrive in our master bathroom to find broken, exploded glass everywhere!

The roofers had broken the skylight, never said a word about it to their boss, and simply left.  Drama? You think?  😉  A few phone calls were exchanged, four guys came up and cleaned the mess next morning.

Next day (Thursday) we worked hard, making three piles in the garage: one to donate, one to dispose, and one to move back to Kansas with us.  A trip to Habitat for Humanity for the first pile, and a trip to the “Transfer Station” for the second.   Have you ever visited a Transfer Station?  It’s what we call “the dump”. Basically, one stop before a landfill.  A place where folks dump trash, it’s moved around into HUGE piles by a skillful worker driving a front-end loader, and it’s then dispensed into gigantic trucks that do the final trip to the landfill.  If you have a pickup truck and a utility bill to prove local residency you can dump your trash. They weigh the truck when you arrive, then weigh it again when you leave. You pay per pound of trash left behind.  Clever, don’t you think? I know it is not a food blog-worthy subject, but the truth is, it’s a part of life we tend to forget. We live in a “pseud0-clean,”  protected environment, in which the meat comes nicely packaged so you don’t think about the animal behind it.  We also don’t think about the trash we produce once the garbage leaves our front door.  Well, it’s not pretty, it’s nasty,  and a lot of people work very, very hard to deal with it.   I made a little video for those interested.

You can watch it here.

It is only 35 seconds long, and only in the end can you see the worker dumping a load in the truck for final transportation to a landfill. The truck parks on a lower level, so all you can see is its open top slightly above ground on the side of the transfer station. Fortunately for you, smells don’t travel with the images. 😉

Phil and I were anxiously waiting for the Thursday tornadoes to pass. We stayed inside our  garage, tornado shelter open, pickup truck filled with the last load of stuff to dispose. Since we had no TV in the house, we turned the pickup radio and listened closely to it.   Another little video for you here, those from the area will recognize the voice of  Gary England, the meteorologist who doesn’t “believe” in global warming.  Yeah, right.

So the Thursday tornadoes came and went, touching down 5 miles or so away from us.  We quickly drove to the dump. Quickly? We wished.  Unfortunately, you can’t turn on the truck radio without the headlights too, and they unexpectedly drained the battery, leaving us with a big problem: a truck full of trash, a dead  battery, and no way get out of the garage.  Drama?  You think? A frantic phone call to our dear (and tremendously helpful) neighbors ensued, followed by a quick jump of the battery, and off we went, arriving at the dump shortly before it closed for the day.  End of drama?  Not quite.  Right when I was  standing next to the 15ft-high pile of trash in that wonderful location, a strong gust of twisting wind (back-end of the tornado storm) hit the place, and literally sprayed me with… how should I put it?  Hummmm…. let’s go for “dump juice”. The most disgusting episode of my existence.

That, my friends, was drama.   Irony of ironies, Phil was spared of the filthy encounter, at the time he was standing up in the pickup truck bed.  Yes, he laughed.  But he stopped quickly because the blood in his veins kind of froze a little when our eyes met.  Arriving home, I took three showers. In a row.

Friday, the big day arrived.  We worked every single minute of the day, Phil trimmed trees, I cleaned the house, we did everything  to make the place as welcoming as possible.  The truck was full to capacity, ready to be covered with a heavy tarp as storms were predicted (AGAIN!)  for the end of the afternoon.

That afternoon the deal  was signed, sealed, delivered!  We went to our neighbor’s home and sat  watching TV  waiting for a safe time to go out for a celebration dinner.  We chose a restaurant about 2 miles from home, a traditional spot in Norman called “Legends,” which brought fond memories of our time in town.   As we left our neighbor’s home we noticed that new storms were forming southeast of us, but they seemed harmless.  Well, harmless they were not.   The storms intensified as we happily chatted and enjoyed dinner.  By the time the sirens sounded and we frantically paid the bill, Norman was in the center of a huge tornado storm.  We decided to drive home because it was just 2 miles, but those miles seemed like 20.  The rain was falling in all possible directions, as if a circular shower was turned on in full blast by perverse powers.  It would be impossible to see a tornado approaching, impossible to judge the direction it would be coming from.  Drama? You bet! 😉

But, it all ended on a happy note.  Above is the last photo taken close to our former home.  The new owners had already moved in, so we had to be discreet. We hope they will be as happy as we were living in that wonderful home, and enjoy everything it has to offer, particularly the original Bewitching Kitchen.

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen. June 2012


THREE YEARS AGO: 7-6-5 Pork Tenderloin


    • It is quite amazing that we picked this particular week to close the deal. I feel sorry for the buyers, they had power for 2 hours after moving and then endured 3 and a half days without power! Can you imagine that as a welcome?


  1. Magnificent post, enjoyed the tale of the dump in an unseemly way (not looking you in the eyes as I type that though) – and very glad that it was only dump juice which washes off and not a tornado catching up with you guys. Hope that life is ‘uninteresting’ for you for a time and you get to catch your breath but somehow I doubt your life is ever quiet ! xx


    • I won’t look at you for a little while. It has been said that I’ve got powerful eyes, you know… 🙂

      I don’t think my life will ever be “uninteresting” – Phil and I were talking over dinner tonight, and it seems like ever since we’ve been together it’s been a wild, wild ride – not complaining, life is awesome, and we are very happy. And healthy. I feel lucky for that.


    • We do need a break now… it’s good to go back, but it’s quite a long drive to do it so often, plus every trip has involved quite a bit of work. But, it’s OVER!


  2. What to say after reading your blog, Sally? To tell you that I’m speechless would be an understatement….stunned? Nah, gotta come up with new words for your trip to Norman. Thank god you and Phil are safe. The thought of “dump juice” isn’t appetizing but I’ll bet you could find someone to say with proper aging, there’s umami there. 😉 Thank goodness the Norman chapter of your lives is closed successfully and another has opened in Manhattan. Stay safe. May your next drama be less daunting, but nothing keeps you down for long. You’re a remarkable woman and I feel honored to know you.
    P.S. I cannot believe the roofers and the skylight! Wow….


    • Oh, Marcia… the umami thing took first prize! I am laughing so hard, I wish I had thought about that DURING the event… 🙂 I kept the description as “mild” as possible, but it was not fun. At all.
      And I said this before but it is good to repeat it: you are too sweet and kind!


    • Oh, yeah, baby… Tornado is my middle name… we’ve been through so many during the 17 years in OK, but when a bad one hits, it’s very scary. We feel a lot safer here


  3. Sally, I forgot to say that your Bewitching Kitchen is wherever YOU are! That’s a given…it’s not the kitchen, it’s the cook and her creations which are bewitching, m’dear. 🙂


  4. Sally: I am glad that you are safe and sound after the tornados. In addition, you have finally sold your house and is moving to Kansas. I am quite sure that the new bewitching kitchen will be awesome as well, and I will see many wonderful dishes coming from the new kitchen. Take care!


    • Well, soon it will be one year since we moved here – June 23rd was the day of our home move, and the lab move a little later. I still cannot believe it’s been so long! It does feel like yesterday we were just considering the possibility of a move… why is life so fast these days? (no need to answer, I rather not know… 😉


  5. I was very happy, thinking that you and Phil were in Manhattan and in no danger from the recent storms. Little did I know that you were back in OK and in the thick of it!!
    We’re so glad to hear that you have sold your house and that you are safe.


  6. Hi Sally. What a post! You had me on the edge of my seat (or actually, my birthing ball). I’m so glad that you are safe…and I’m happy to hear that you were able to sell your house. I look forward to seeing the next chapter of your life. Thank you for sharing with us, sweet friend.


    • Emotions ran high indeed, life is a lot calmer now, although we do have lots of boxes to deal with – but no pressure! We really need to recharge OUR batteries after so much action!


  7. Oooh… farewell to the original Bewitching Kitchen and may the magic live on for the new owners. So happy that you and Phil are safe and sound. Congratulations on selling your home Sally – it is pretty incredible (in the true sense of the word) that it sold on day 365! Wow. I suggest you go out and purchase a lottery ticket immediately!! ;-).


    • Yeah, indeed it makes you want to go out and buy a lottery ticket… I almost did not realize it was one year to the day. But then, I looked at my calendar because the anniversary of the blog was coming up and I wanted to have the right date on my mind… and there it was: BOUGHT THE HOUSE! On June 1st, 2012

      unreal…. just unreal….


  8. Wow, that’s quite the move.. starting with a full year coincidence (a cool one) and ending with a not so fun coincidence of storms! Well, it’s always a bittersweet moment when we move from one house to another. The Bewitching Kitchen has turned a new chapter! I bet you’re relieved your house is sold! xx


    • I am fascinated by several things – language (you knew that already, I think) and numbers. Another fascination is time… which in a way is a number associated with an event. So selling the house 365 days after buying a new home, is just amazing!


  9. Congratulations Sally!!! What a relief. I know that feeling well. And I know the bittersweet feeling that comes with it. Ours sold in 368 says. It was agonizing, but while we didn’t enjoy the extra mortgage payment, we enjoyed having our summer home. 🙂 At least that’s what we called it on our countless trips back and forth. I’m very happy for you. Farewell to this Bewitching Kitchen. 🙂


    • 368! Wow. so close to our timeframe! It gets stressful at the end, doesn’t it?

      I guess we went through a very similar experience, although you were living with your husband’s family (if I remember correctly) – and that has its advantages and disadvantages compared to what we experienced

      whatever the case, we are all under the “Happy Ending” mode! and that’s awesome….


  10. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I dont know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you arent already 😉 Cheers!


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