McMansions and Meals

Over the past decade Gigi and I fought the urge to buy a McMansion. It seemed every community had them. They were personal palaces of what became the real estate glut.

Everyone it seemed was going out and buying $500,000 to $700,000 houses with the availability of low interest and easy credit. I was even told by a builder once, "You know the difference between a $500,000 house and a $700,000 house? About $60,000 of molding and marble."

But somehow we rationalized staying in our modest ranch home with 8 beautiful acres and being satisfied with what we had. Oh we had the discussions that questioned ourselves if we were fools to staying here.

One thing that stood out in these McMansion were the kitchens. My God.....the equipment, the storage, the prep area, the sinks all rivaled professional kitchens that I have seen in restaurants. Kitchens became showplaces but no one cooked.

Some of the best meals of my life came from Gigi's Grandmother in her tiny firetrap kitchen in northern Georgia. There was barely room for two people yet she made magnigfacant meals here. A free standing stove/oven, a refrigerator, an old porcelain single sink and an electric fry pan with barely enough counter space for a biscuit bowl.

Or a professional kitchen like The Pickled Greek in St Croix. There chef Aaron stands in the midst of grills, fryers, ovens with barely room to move in 125 degree heat and serves magnificent meals with passion.

Hell, my nephew and I crank out some pretty darn good meals standing on the dirt ground hovered over a stove, fryer, a few grills and an enthusiasm for cooking when we camp on Jekyll Island.

So as the rest of the country's McMansion kitchens go under water and revert back to the bank Gigi and I will be cooking in our modest kitchen a fantastic meal and I will wonder what the banks will do with all those fantastic kitchens.

Today I am thankful that I didn't over extend during the good times and what I have does me just fine.

Gigi's late step father once asked us in his way of giving advice, "How many toilets can a man sit on? How many beds can a man sleep in?"

It was his way of saying get what you need and no more. He never went broke either.


Ken said...

Great post! Let the truth ring out.

as I sit in my 6000sf modest home HA!

Enjoy your *little kitchen* thanksgiving meal, we will.

Judy said...

I like this post! I agree. I go to people huge fancy homes and instead of wishing I had it I feel even more content with what I have. I have all I need and not a lot of excess.

terri said...

You just made me feel a million times better about my own modest house with it's own modest kitchen and 20 year old stove.

Unknown said...

The only McMansion kitchen appliance I long for is a double over. Other than that, I'd rather be outside over propane stoves, grills and fryers and crank out good hearty food while drinking cold cheap beer.

I used to watch MTV Cribs and get SOOO mad at these mega stars who had dream kitchens and then made it a point to state how they never got used.