A Neat Kitchen

Something seems slightly depressing about a neat kitchen, especially early in the evening. That truth is a bit of a shock to me. I do like a neat kitchen, and I’m enjoying my quiet and orderly life. Further, one of my cherished disciplines is that I won’t go to bed until the sink shines, and I won’t leave the house until the sink shines AND the bed is made. So what’s my problem?

For one thing, it’s 6:00 at night and I have nothing exciting planned for the evening. No one is expected to visit, and television is an open revelation of civilization sinking into the abyss. My friend Werner calls the TV set “an open sewer.” It’s hard to argue with that.

Even if I didn’t have television, I do have Facebook, that great “social network” that has effectively squelched genuine communication in favor of publicly displayed “status updates.” What I didn’t know until recently is that if you “like” someone’s Facebook posts too often, you’re a stalker. Heaven forbid I should let anybody know I read what they write.

Himself is in his man cave in the west wing and always accessible by a short walk across the house or, and people who know this think this is funny, we can send each other emails. In addition, we both have cell phones and there’s an intercom function on our house phone. I’m hardly isolated.

It’s all in one’s point of view, isn’t it?

A messy kitchen could be a sign of sloppy housekeeping. On the other hand, entering a kitchen humming with food processors and electric mixers and bubbling soup pots, counters cluttered with mixing bowls, foot-prints in spilled flour and the sink piled full of measuring cups and spatulas, one might reasonably surmise that here life is being lived exuberantly. This commotion may well be in anticipation of happy family banter, lively discussion, even good-natured arguments.

I hear the far-away echoes of kitchens past and I smile. Those were good times with beautiful people! My memories warm my heart.

I’m safe and sound here, with a well-stocked pantry; my eyes glory in the shine of my sink and the order on my countertops. A peaceful evening stretches before me. My neat kitchen is a contented place.

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