Most days, I think I'm thankful, but then I stop and whine about something or other and realize I have a long way to go. My stove is my reminder to be thankful.
The content face I should have
It is ugly as sin and older than dirt, it has been with me since...forever. I honestly can't remember where it came from. It must have been in the first house we bought. It would have looked nicer then, since I have no memory of its beginnings. If it had been awful then, I would probably remember hating it. Through the years, it's white finish has been scratched to reveal black. It's black finish has been scratched to reveal dull grey. The knobs require a special touch (read: extreme pressure) to turn just on, but only sometimes, so that occasionally when you push like crazy, you find yourself sliding all the way around. The large burner on top has completely burnt out (literally, it caught on fire) and the drawer underneath doesn't actually close, it just shoves into place. mostly. when it wants to.
Three meals a day. Every day. Every week. Always, I cook on my small three burners that are not level, causing my food to slide to one half of my pan and I slide my large pan halfway onto my small burner so that the half with food can cook on the half of the pan that covers the burner. And I complain. "I cannot WAIT until we get a new stove. A black stove to match our black kitchen." But we have all white appliances. "Yes, but our new kitchen will have all black appliances."
|A more accurate representation of my content face.|
But that new kitchen is never at the top of our priority list and my white appliances continue to rebel against their expected duties. And I continue to complain.
A small video at church on Sunday reminded me of what I already knew: a thankful person is content. Cooking that Sunday, I recalled the overwhelming nostalgia that overcame me when I retired our old high- chair. Wow, that thing was ugly. And uncomfortable. And inconvenient. But not at first. It started beautifully, it just didn't age well. I never seemed to notice though. I just appreciated its faithful service.
My stove started fine and didn't age well, just like the high-chair. But how many soups and stews had been simmered on that stove for my sick sweethearts? How many grilled cheese sandwiches had been fried up for a quick lunch? How many pancakes flipped? Green tomatoes fried? My babies grew up with good memories of Mama cooking in the kitchen and not one of those meals could have happened without that faithful, ugly stove.
|My dream kitchen. Yes, I realize it's not black.|
I cannot say that I now feel emotionally attached to my cantankerous stove. But since my revelation, each meal I've cooked has been a reminder to be thankful for everything that I have.