In the Kitchen

I ran water in my own sink today. I filled up my coffee carafe, and I poured the water into my coffee pot, and I got coffee out of my fridge and measured it out, and this all happened within the walls of my kitchen.

It sounds ridiculous, perhaps, but this occasion made me a bit teary. I haven’t had a kitchen since the wee hours of January. Even before I chose to leave, I knew it was coming. So the kitchen that I loved there was no longer mine, even before I left it.

I have a kitchen. It has some wonky angles and some lots of projects to finish, but it is mine. The tile is a bit of a project and my hands are all cut up. But I’m mostly happy with how it is looking. I’m being creative-a little-and even though it isn’t perfect, I’m being okay with it being imperfect. It’s a 90 year old house. I’m very frustrated about the cabinet installation. I got flustered and installed the cabinets quickly because I was dilly dallying and running late for my plumber. So I forgot to do what I knew the day before I had to do-create a spacer in between the corner cabinet and the one that comes out to the right. So I had to lose that 12″ drawer face. I’ll just use it as a spice rack and take it out. I’ll put a cover panel in that spot. It’s irritating, but not the end of the world.

Also, the countertops are off by about 2.5″ on either side of the sink. This is due to the dishwasher sitting lower than the cabinets do. So, the left side is lower. I chose to make one continuous line at the butcher block, so the tile looked continuous. HOWEVER, that means it’s off above. So, mischief managed, I’m just going to put a decorative trim strip there and make it a feature. Maybe a shelf, maybe rock, haven’t decided.

Mulder sitting in the sun spot that the window from the bathroom made on my newly stained hardwood floors made me weepy with sentimental Montana afternoons. I have a visceral memory of how the sun hit the refrigerator at Overdale, the ranch I grew up on, in the Yaak-my hometown. Every summer afternoon there the light would be, as comforting as an old sweater or a song you know is part of your soul. Seeing that light hit fridge told me I was home. It would happen in the late afternoon, when summer chores are winding down. I was usually doing something at the sink or preparing food or a snack at my mom’s amazing island. It was made with a massive 2″ butcher block slab on top of an old grain table, with two huge steel curved drawers. She didn’t store grain in there (she’s far too fastidious) but she stored her cookie cutters and rolling pins and other baking/cooking paraphernalia.

Cooking and making food and memories in a kitchen is the true blood and heart of life. It is the “staff of life,” as the Bible says. It gives nourishment and provides comfort. Having my own place to prepare, receive and give the sacrament on a daily basis, well, it fills me with holy feelings. My grateful for where I am right now is so big it can’t it my body.

I have been feeling this kind of grace often, when I think about what I asked for, and what was given to me. I had no idea this is what would happen. Five months ago I thought I was going to move to Bend and live in an apartment with Korra and a roommate and pay $1300 a month in rent. I can’t believe I was considering that kind of rent outside of San Francisco or Portland, but I was.

And here I am, living in Billings, growing with Lucy and my growing menagerie. I’m gearing up for a school year and I know in my deepest self, that no matter how challenging things may be with learning a new school, a new system and teaching 3rd grade for the first time in 7 years, that it is going to be amazing. I know it is, it just will be. I know that I will be. I have learned so much on just how to BE, and how to just meet challenges and joyful moments the same: with love, focus, determination, patience.


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