My kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in my house. The dining room and kitchen are one large room, subdivided by a six foot bar in the middle. It has a vaulted ceiling and plenty of space. We can comfortably feed ten people there, including the bar, but we often feed more than that if we crunch up a bit.
Over the years, I’ve had to come to terms with my kitchen. You see, as a farm wife, I’ve had to realize that my kitchen will never look like the ones in the magazines. Instead of pretty baskets containing 5-10 pieces of fruits, I’ll have 3 five gallon buckets of tomatoes or sweet corn on the counter. Rather than vases of flowers, I have syringes, lamb bottles, and animal medicines. And for nine months of the year, I have a large, stainless steel, Surge milker in the floor of the kitchen. Usually, I’m just happy if nobody left the castration tool on the kitchen table.
And the dirt…Oh my goodness the dirt.
The man of the house was the one who chose white ceramic tile for the kitchen when we moved in. This I have regretted for years. White. My husband said, “Oh, but it looks so good!” and I mentally add, “…When it’s clean.” Which on a farm and with four kids is not very often. I’ve learned not to sweat the dirty floor. I mop it once a week, sweep it daily, and enjoy the few minutes per week when it is clean (this is usually the 20 minutes or so that it takes to dry after mopping. Once the kids can walk on it again, it’s dirty)
My kitchen will never look as good as those that I see in Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, or even Country Living. (Country Living? Really. Every place in that magazine looks too charming and too CLEAN to be real. I bet everything is truly staged and once the photographers leave, the families go back to normal, messy, cluttered life.)
However, I’ve learned to love this kitchen in spite of the un-Orthodox things that grace it. The Surge milker is always an interesting conversation piece when I meet new people. “What is that thing? How does it work?” The syringes might be a great defense in case of a home invasion. The lamb and calf bottles are always an indication that cute baby animals are tottering around and excited to see us. The animal medicines can save the lives of valuable critters that 100 years ago would have died. Buckets of veggies are nutritious foods for my family. The castration tool? Well…that just needs to go in the garage.
But I’ve learned that my friends and family don’t care too much about how my kitchen looks. We fill it with delicious smells, laughter, and love, and it suddenly doesn’t matter how it looks.