Thai-rrific Kitchen Cabinets
The tropical rain pelted my windshield as I pulled up to the Pahoa Transfer Station several months ago. I was making another run to the tiny re-use store in an attempt to find things that would serve as functional interior elements for our developing home. Just as the lotus flower grows from the mud, it’s beautiful blossom floating above that which it came from; I have built our house from treasures I have found at the dump. Repudiated pieces of trash have become the crowning glory of the art installation my family and I call home.
From a previous dump victory I had scored 4 discarded oak cabinets, they were gutted, boasting no doors or shelves, and had what I like to call an antique finish, meaning, they were discolored and scratched to smithereens. I considered my find a triumph and carted them home, anxious to show my carpenter-friend Mark, my big score. He was as enthused as I was and immediately came up with a configuration that turned the 4 cabinet shells into an entire wall of impressively designed shelving.
Now we just needed doors. Mark decided he could make me fun wooden canvases out of scrap siding and other assorted wood cuttings we had lying around. He began his individual door creations, called them my “stage” and bemusedly anticipated what I would come up with. I really had no idea what to do , and as he was finishing up the last door frame I decided to make a run to the dump.
As my windshield wipers swished frantically, I observed an elderly woman with a large wicker basket walking towards the main dumpsters. I saw what appeared to be a zebra leg sticking up out of the basket… a wooden zebra leg. I spent no time trying to further decipher the situation as I screeched my van to a halt, jumped out and earnestly ran towards the woman yelling, “HELLO! STOP! WAIT!” As I approached my bewildered target, I focused on the contents of the basket, and I really could not believe my eyes. Noticing my unbridled lust for her trash the woman said, “these are the old Thai figurines from my garden. They are in terrible shape, broken, faded, and horrible… I’m throwing them away, you couldn’t possibly want these awful things?”
Driving home with the basket beside me I was literally laughing like a mad-scientist. I showed Mark my cache but even he couldn’t figure out why I was so jazzed. He turned his attention to other projects and for the next 3 hours I worked in a state of utter elation. Later that day when Mark came down from the roof and caught a glimpse of what I had concocted he just shook his head in disbelief. After staring at my Frankensteinian masterpieces for a bit, he muttered, “I gotta say, those are the most shockingly unique cabinet doors I have ever seen” I was pleased as punch and chirped back, “Yep! They’re Thai-rrific!”