February 27, 2015

Keeping Things in Perspective

We are remodeling our kitchen and family room—and have been for two months now. It was a gut-and-start-over process. Our living and dining rooms are filled with boxes and furniture, all under plastic, and we have been relegated to the upstairs. The guest bedroom is now a pantry with a microwave. The guest bath is now a kitchen, and the bedroom contains our dining area. It is inconvenient and crowded but I can’t help believing we are fortunate, and not just because we have the means to do this.

Our “kitchen” sink is hardly large enough for one plate, but we have hot water and soap. I picture the women in Vietnam, squatting on their haunches outside their homes, washing dishes in cold water from an outdoor faucet. And I believe I am blessed!

Our refrigerator holds only a tiny tray of ice cubes and not much else, but there is room for the white
wine bottle. I picture the women of Africa who must walk miles each day to find water, then cook over an open fire, waving their fans to keep away the bugs. And I believe I am blessed!

Our “dining” table is in our bedroom, not really big enough for both of us to read the morning paper. I picture the women who crowd their entire families into one room where they all sleep together. And I know I am blessed!

With a tiny refrigerator (and the tiny food prep area in this picture) we must grocery shop almost
every day and I give thanks for the blessing of being able to refrigerate food at all. Shopping so often seems a burden; I wonder why it’s such a pleasure when we are in Italy. The hardest part has been making an effort to eat our usual diet of healthy food. It is no wonder some women must feed their children substandard diets. Most of all, I have missed fresh vegetables. They just don’t taste the same coming out of a microwave or as a side dish in a restaurant. Blessings on the neighbor who invited us over the other day for squash and asparagus!

The plants from downstairs had to be moved. The cactus moved to the master bath, but it was not happy as you can see from the yellow leaves. It did bloom, however--three whole blossoms. Perhaps it was trying to keep up with the orchid. Or perhaps just giving us another blessing!