My husband took the spray bottle of vinegar and water from under the kitchen sink. Then he retrieved a rag from the basement. What’s he up to? I wondered.

After three rainy days, sunlight seized him to wash away the remains of our granddog’s slobber from the outside kitchen door-wall. A month since Lily’s last visit, I’d wiped her drool from the inside glass three days ago while on a cleaning spree.

What else is a gardener to do when confined to a dusty, neglected house? So I set my favorite albums on the turntable and got down to business.

At the conclusion of a congenial reunion with my household belongings, I returned the spray bottle and Howard’s Restore-a-Finish to the cabinet under the kitchen sink.

Very thankful for my home, I paused before the window above the sink. I’ve spent a good portion of the past thirty two years cooking, dreaming, planning, praying, and repenting there. And washing thousands of teacups and saucers.

Tree branches thrashed in the wind and rain. “I know the feeling,” I whispered. “Trust me, this storm shall pass.”

I thanked God for the mind and strength to vacuum and polish what my husband and I have accumulated in fifty two years of marriage—many small treasures now stowed away in plastic bins in the basement. Four thousand square feet wouldn’t be enough space to display the love and life lived in this little house and on these three acres.

I observed the rain long enough to notice splatters of dishwater between the window panes, yet resisted the urge to grab the spray bottle.

Rather, I watched the last blossoms of phlox and rose stand their ground against autumn’s tantrum. I remembered our house in Detroit, the view of our neighbor’s lush and lovely backyard while I cooked and washed dishes as a young mother.

Our three girls learned to wash and dry dishes in that sink and before the side window, although not tall enough to appreciate the view. Perhaps that’s why they negotiated opting out of the chore.

Nonetheless, the landscape of passing and emerging seasons nourished my soul, mind, and spirit. And enhanced what I fed my family. A culinary prompt of sorts.

I’d like to say my fondness for the Detroit kitchen window consciously influenced my choice for the generous window I stand before several times throughout a day. Truth is, in my hours studying our house plans, I cannot remember focusing on the kitchen window’s location.

But God is good. He knew my needs. My family’s needs.

Because when the cook is happy, the house is happy, especially after the cook dusts the furniture and floors and wipes windows clean.

Dear Reader, when my husband retired, he assumed the biannual wrestling match with washing our windows. This makes the cook of the house happy.

At the conclusion of his reunion with the spray bottle and rag, he consumes beef tenderloin and baked potato with sour cream. And perhaps apple pie a la mode.

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