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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Word Today: Methodically

We had company for dinner last night (we often do) and I really enjoy making big meals. I should clarify: I like cooking, baking, and cleaning - AS LONG AS it's appreciated. I suppose we are all wired that way, right? No one likes to feel taken for granted. A little work seems like a small effort as long as it's enjoyed and appreciated. I was all smiles last night and for good reason. I didn't have to run to the store to provide my family and our guest with healthy food. We have been blessed with meat from our own animals and last evening was no exception to that rule. Even though we are getting to the bottom of the freezer I was able to find nine absolutely lovely pork steaks. The weather was warm all day yesterday so the garden had an abundance of tender asparagus, and I had made a fresh loaf of banana bread early in the morning before the heat set in. Of course, I couldn't forget the potatoes. I don't do anything special with the potatoes, but my husband loves them. I keep telling him, it's HIS sweat equity that makes them so delicious. It's the butter and the raw milk that make the difference. Our milk is full of butterfat and heavy cream and those ingredients are really what gives the potatoes the rich flavor.

Mike, our guest, and Mark, my husband, finished up the barn chores and met me in the driveway where I was grilling the steaks. This was just another blessing because I was grilling them on a 30+ year old grill that my father had purchased at Sears in the 70's. This was the grill I had learned to light as a small child, the same grill we carefully built a wooden fence around when I was about ten years old. Such happy memories ... I miss my dad every day, but being surrounded by those memories helps me remember his wrinkly hands, those twinkly eyes, and his patient demeanor. I still can't swing a hammer and hit the nail - but he patiently helped me saw boards, hammer nails, and build that enclosure for the grill ... and the time I singed off my bangs trying to light the bugger ... he got quite a kick out of that one ...

So, back to last night. We chatted while the steaks finished up and I teased the boys that I hadn't made a thing to go along with the steaks. Of course they knew better that there would be something already simmering when we came inside. They were excited to see the mashed potatoes, asparagus, and the banana bread. By the time we sat down to eat it was well past 10pm. You never would have guessed it was that late based on the conversation around the dinner table. The laughter and smiles as well as the guys asking for seconds is what makes my heart happy.

At some point we got on the subject of cooking and cleaning. Mark said "believe it or not, she really DOES like cleaning" and Mike's eyes widened in disbelief. I told him that cooking and cleaning are methodical and that's what really works for me. He didn't exactly understand what I meant. I explained that you don't necessarily have to move quickly but that doing something that is systematic and rhythmic is therapeutic for me. The back and forth of the vacuum cleaner, the left to right motion of washing dishes, the circular pattern of dusting or wiping tables, etc... if I'm having a bad day, I can get so absorbed in cleaning that by the time I'm done I've completely forgotten what I was frustrated about. Cooking and baking feels the same to me, there is a momentum to the process and as I become s
wept away with that momentum, my worries and troubles are swept in the opposite direction.

And you know what the best part is? Know what's so great about those methodical things I love so much? They bring joy to others!!! My husband and children enjoy a clean house - don't let them fool you, they really do. They love knowing they can invite someone over without checking with me because they know the house will be clean and organized. They also know that there's always enough abundance that we can have company for a meal or offer a guest a cup of coffee, piece of fresh bread, cookies, or a hot meal. I get my crabbies out which makes me smile and then the smiles of our friends and family make my smile even bigger.

Ah yes - it's those late night conversations with friends that seem to bring the most wisdom and happiness.

~May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and wisdom!

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