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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Spots & Stains

Yesterday as I was cleaning and cooking in preparation for Thanksgiving I noticed how used and worn my house and appliances are; especially in the kitchen.  We've lived here nearly thirty years and of course replaced things from time to time but not for quite a few years. (Thank goodness because things are so expensive!) the linoleum is looking a little tired with a scratch or a crack in a couple spots and some staining which I think just can't be helped because of its age and amount of use. The kitchen really is the most used room in the house, the place where everyone goes for warmth, comfort, sustenance and me. Many conversations happen in the kitchen, usually in front of the stove.  My stovetop, I'm afraid, is showing its age. There are stains around the burners that just won't come off no matter how hard I scrub. I was thinking as I was cooking and cleaning that all the wear and tear are silent witness to the life we have here. There's the scratch in the floor just under the front of the fridge that happened when a jar of pickles fell and broke leaving a chunk of glass which left its damage when we moved the icebox to clean the pickley mess. The high traffick areas just never seem to look as clean as the rest of the floor even though I mop them regularly, testament to the number of times feet make contact there. The stovetop especially tells the story of family and friends being fed and cared for. Whether it's a box of macaroni and cheese, a cup of tea or a Thanksgiving feast that left a small spatter or stain there's a certain comfort I take in knowing I've loved and helped sustain the important people in my life in such a basic, beautiful way. So this Thanksgiving I give thanks for the spots and stains that are a testament to our family's love for one another.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Remember November

The ghosts and goblins have come and gone
A new month starts with the dawn
This is the month we most give thanks
For veterans, voting, and (fill in the blanks),
Please don't rush through this month November,
Take your time so you can remember,
Everyone you are most thankful for,
Feeling thankful for them is not a chore.
by S. Donald

Welcome to November, the most rushed through without acknowledging it month. It seems we go directly from Halloween to Christmas in a rushed haze barely sparing a thought for any of this month's events. Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving are all pretty important days but seem to be an afterthought.  How hard our ancestors fought for the right to vote, and some people in other areas of the world still don't have that right. Yet how many of us simply blow it off because either it's not an "important" election such as for president or because we don't like any of the candidates. Well I'd say every election is important because it gives each of us a chance to send a message. Even if the candidate we chose doesn't win, someone notices that x number of people don't agree with the person who won. Doesn't that help (at least in theory) send a message that there is important work to do in bringing all points of view into play? That may be too simplistic for some people's taste but hey, I'm just expressing my opinion which I have every right to do largely because of the people we honor on Veterans Day. Those brave men and women who gave service to our country so that we might all be able to sit around reading blogs where others share their thoughts on any subject they like from the comfort of our cozy homes. That's a pretty important day! Then there is Thanksgiving which has been diluted to be an excuse to over eat, over drink, watch football and plan Christmas shopping strategy. I hope we all pause in our indulging to be thankful for all that we have, material things and food but also our friends and family. The people who help make our lives as rich and full as they are. This is another important day!  So we have 30 days to try and keep a slower pace and bear in mind all we have to be thankful for. Let's not let the month go by in a blur, but live it one day at a time savoring the feeling each event brings.