Dear Friends and Cooking Comrades,
I was looking at the old wooden floor of our kitchen the other day. We had guests coming over and I was cleaning up for company. You know the old adage, “If you want a clean house, throw a party.”
The kitchen floor looked so worn, grooved, scratched, even discolored in spots. And for a crazy minute I felt ashamed. I thought how awful to have these old, tired floorboards. Although the floor is over 100 years old, we had it sanded and refinished not even 10 years ago; it was beautiful. What happened? I was suddenly deeply embarrassed.
I started to think of how the floor got so beat up in the last decade: The seasons of snow and ice; mud and puddles; fresh-cut grass sticking to my shoes; and tracking in Autumn leaves. The endless parade of work boots, kitchen clogs, dress shoes, stocking feet and bare feet all assaulting the floor every day. It has endured endless moppings.
I began to recall all the cooking and baking that went on; the parties where everyone gathered in the kitchen; the daily pets and paws; family and kids running through; the hundreds of weddings we catered and hosted with brides standing in the kitchen, waiting to walk the garden path to their future husbands. And how about taping an entire DVD cooking series with cameras, lights and crew shoehorned in the kitchen for months – that couldn’t have helped that poor floor.
With a dawning epiphany, I said out loud, “What good is it to have a big, old kitchen if you don’t use it?”
I’ve begun to accept that our kitchen floor won’t be featured in a design or architectural magazine. It may not be the envy of anyone anywhere. But we’ve used it. We’ve shared it. We’ve enjoyed it. It still holds us up. Our kitchen is not a museum, it’s not a status symbol, it’s a kitchen – and we’ve made the most of it. The pride is in the food that is created here. If this floor could talk. . . .
The kitchen floor reflects the footsteps of our lives.