Reminders of family, friends surround her

Published 1:01 am Saturday, March 23, 2019

I couldn’t stand it any longer. The top of my stove was a mess. I lifted an electrical unit to remove the protective foil covering from one of the large drip pans. The other three were in the same condition. Not overwhelmed with energy, my tackling one a day seemed like a good plan. The dirty foil landed in the garbage can and the drip pan in the kitchen sink. My attempts at scrubbing it hardly made a dent.

On hands and knees, I searched the shelf under my kitchen sink. Surely my miracle spray was among other cleaning items. Yes, there it was, next to a box of scrubbing pads. I gave the drip pan a thorough spraying and left it to loosen the greasy collection of stuff overnight.

The next morning found me again on hands and knees, looking for the supply of foil liners to cover the drip pans. The spray had worked well on the first one. Following my plan, three days later the stove looked almost new with the replacement foil liners in place.

Thank goodness for those liners. My kitchen setting is a reminder that I have a lot of things to be thankful for. A wooden paper towel holder brings to mind my maternal grandmother who gave it to me. Often when I reach for a paper towel, I think of her and my other grandparents who showed me their love in so many ways.

When I open the door of an upper kitchen cabinet, I see a set of dishes left to me by one of my favorite aunts. My eyes mist a little. They were a gift to her from my mother. Both of them are in their heavenly home now. I am thankful for those dishes that bring sweet memories of them both.

Then there are my everyday dishes, another gift from my mother in the early 1960s. They have been with our family at our table in a number of places; in military quarters, a church parsonage and twice in the house where I live today. They, along with a special set of Christmas dishes, are a family tradition.

Another item catches my eye. It is a pretty green pitcher I bought at a church yard sale. I am amused every time I see it. The man who donated it saw me buy it. He came up and whispered, “That belonged to my first wife.” He motioned toward a woman, presumably his current wife, among the shoppers. “She made me get rid of it.” Well, since he couldn’t keep it, I am thankful I can enjoy its beauty and usefulness.

And what about my cookbooks? When some are opened and names of people I know jump out at me under the recipes, I am thankful for happy times we shared at covered dish dinners and other outings.

I could go on and on. Probably if you take time to look around your kitchen, you could, too.

Nina Keenam is a former newspaper reporter.