Kitchen Windows

In the days before dishwashers, a window was always placed above the kitchen sink.

Many a young girl envisioned herself growing up and marrying the prince of her dreams as she completed her dish-washing chores. Mothers could solve their entire child rearing problems as they sanitized their pots and pans, while gazing through the kitchen windowpane. On rare occasions, when a man could be talked into this dreaded household task, he often solved some of the world's biggest problems, studying them through the kitchen window.

Some great novels, I would venture to say, were conceived that very way. Prayers too, have been offered up to the Almighty as some stood with their hands in soapy water and their eyes on Heavenly skies. Music scores have been penned in the mind, their notes floating through the fluted space above the kitchen sink. Bridges of dreams have crossed into future realities traveling this same course.

Oh, if kitchen windows could talk, we could hear secrets known to those who hold undisclosed mysteries. We could share dreams of the world's great romantics and connect with some of the great visionaries. I'm sure we could understand the entire "why's?" of this world if these fragile visionary panes capable of shattering even our dreams, could only communicate with us.

My children will never forget my peering through the porthole of the kitchen into the backyard. I often stood there cleaning up and watching over their backyard play, their childhood conflicts and their playful explorations. If they were doing something they shouldn't, they would glance up to see me shaking my finger, admonishing them. My smile often met their eyes when they achieved a feat they were attempting, or when I was admiring their camaraderie. With four siblings, the latter was not always attainable.

I had one association with the kitchen window that will never be forgotten.

The kids had acquired an inner tube, one of those found in the tire of an eighteen-wheel truck. Where they had acquired it, I can't recall, but they were having a ball. One child would get on one side and the other opposite them. They would then bounce up and down, kind of like a rubber teeter-totter. They were having a great time, laughing and jumping taking turns on the makeshift trampoline.

I had been watching them for sometime and could not contain myself any longer. I made a bet with my kitchen window that I could do that too. Being in my 30's didn't mean I couldn't have fun. I energetically bounced out the backdoor and ran down the steps of the deck as if I was a teenager myself.

"I want to try that," I announced to my children.

"Now, mom," my son warned, "I don't think you better." My kids were used to my eager enthusiasm but they were also aware of some of my health problems.

"I can do that, just watch me!" I wasn't over the hill! I still knew how to have fun.

"Well mom, you best be careful."

"I'm fine, come on let's do it. You get on that side and I'll get on this side," I said to my teenage son. My two younger daughters and youngest son gleefully looked on as our cheering section. I was raring to go and not going to let those kids get one up on their mother!

That first bounce -- well let's just say we didn't quite synchronize our jumps and I flew up into the air like a ball shot out of a cannon and landed very hard with a thump on my rump.

"Mom, Mom, Mom -- are you all right? Mom are you OK? Here let us help you up."

"Just leave me alone, let me sit here for a minute," I said as I held back the tears. "I'll be fine." As the pain shot through my bottom side I wasn't quite sure of the words I had just uttered. I felt like I may never walk again, but I had to pull my faltering self-esteem out of this mess somehow!

Eventually when I got to my feet, an X-ray was taken. It revealed a broken tailbone. You can't put a cast on that, so I just had to endure the pain until it healed.

In the days that followed, as I stood looking out my kitchen window and I could almost hear its opaque pane mocking me, "You're not as young as you used to be. I told you so!"

"OK, OK. Just see to it you don't tempt me with your visions of wishful thinking!"

I made a pact with the kitchen windows of the world that day: "Help me see more clearly and throw in a little wisdom while you're at it, will 'ya? I will try to decipher dreams from reality and act accordingly. But I can't make any promises!"

[ Betty King ( -- from Heartwarmers ]


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