Standing in the kitchen today I happened to really notice my counter. I stopped and just took it all in. I don't have a fancy gourmet kitchen or highend stainless steel appliances, yet the kitchen is my favorite room of the house. I spend a great deal of time there attending to the needs of my family. Obviously it's where meals are prepared, but it's so much more to me. The family calendar covers the freezer door, reminding us of all our lessons, appointments and activities. My planning center (junk counter) is located in the kitchen; it's a constant job keeping that spot clean and organized. But today, I just stopped and noticed how the kitchen counter was telling a story about my life as of late.
We're just getting into the prolific production phase of our vegetable garden. Lettuce, zucchini, onion, beans, peas, cucumbers...it's all up there waiting to be made into a BIG salad for lunch. As long as I provide hard-cooked eggs and croutons, salad can be considered a main course lunch for my family. With garden vegetables come lots of kitchen scraps, waiting in dirty bowls to be tossed out for the chickens. It's been hot, but the hens are still laying. Most days I find washed eggs drying on the counter. Canning rings scream out that I've been preserving something or other to be stored away until just the right snowy day when we all need a reminder that summer indeed does come to Wisconsin. The glass jar at the left - that's holding boxes of allergy pills, another staple in my diet this time of year. Under the paper towel is none other than Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Some items aren't as noticeable, like the fillet knife resting on the bird book on the window sill. Nick's been catching lots of fish this summer and has just learned how to fillet on his own, so the knife - it stays right there on the window sill waiting for the next perch. I don't know if you can see the birthday candles, but they're lying on the window sill as well. I'm known for not putting things away in a timely manner. Sam's birthday was July 10; I'm sure that's when those candles found themselves on the sill. Now when I notice them and think about putting them away, I say to myself why? Little J'll be 2 in just a couple of weeks, so they stay put. Hopefully they burn down enough that I can justify throwing them away after his birthday, otherwise they'll sit on the sill until September 4 when the next birthday rolls around.
Some days I look at this "mess" and feel absolutely disgusted with myself. Why can't I have clean counters? Why is my house always messy? Why is the window sill always covered in trinkets? Other days this "mess" is a reminder that I live a real life. A life filled with all I love - family, food, gardening, canning, birthdays! Life can be messy. Life should be messy. A clear counter would only mean nothing is happening and that would be a shame.