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February 23, 2001: Spots before my eyes

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Tiny speckles. Larger pebbly chunks of speckles. Speckles interspersed with randomly strewn threads.

This is the selection that awaits you should you be so inclined to go picking out kitchen countertops. For whatever reason, the entire counter top industry seems besotted with speckles, in any shape or size.

The only problem with this is that neither Richard nor myself is a speckle-lover. In fact, we prefer almost anything except speckles, especially those lovely selections that had not just speckles, but random bits of thread intermingled within.

I can only assume that someone, somewhere, is very proud of their speckle-dynasty. Someone out there - or even a group of someones - in each counter top-covering company, is responsible for coming up with new designs, and based on the sheer volume of speckled varieties, I'd hazard a guess that those people get extra credit for coming up with yet another way they can incorporate speckles into their work.

Our big task for the house this week, in case you hadn't figured it out by now, was to pick out the kitchen countertops. The contract called for tile, but as neither of us is really all that enamored of tile either, we were shepherded off to a countertop store, there to peruse the selection. And of course, while we were there, we just happened to come upon the (boxes and drawers and cabinets of!) little squares of Corian.

This is the stuff that forms a solid block on top of your kitchen counter. This is the stuff on which you can set your hot pans, fresh from the oven, without fear of cracking or burning. This is the stuff that cleans easily, that rarely stains, that looks marvelous over the years.

This is the stuff that costs an arm and a leg. Therefore, this is, of course, where we found the sample we liked best.

On the plus side, since we skillfully avoided all speckles by choosing a solid color (pale green that looks wonderful with deep golden wood stains), it at least came from the cheaper side of the spectrum. But then they started talking about how they could mold a sink out of the stuff for us if we were so inclined, and add lovely trims and embedded designs, and stripes of alternating color.

Hey, I was happy we were able to find a single color we both liked. I'm not artistic enough (or motivated, for that matter) to try to coordinate something fancy into the countertops.

We left with the promise that they would price our selection and let us know how many arms and legs we would have to trade for our beautiful green counter. They also tossed in the mention that we might be able to get a coordinating stripe on the front trim for free.

They knew exactly what they were doing. We didn't even bother to choose a back up - we just went with our little square of Beach Grass green and a pamphlet detailing all the nifty trims and extras we could add. Only problem is, now this has got me thinking about coordinating colors (something I was really trying to avoid with the whole countertop issue in the first place). Whatever we decide, I'm sure it will be lovely.

Just as long as it doesn't have any speckles.

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