Come Back Soon, Kitchen.

I miss my kitchen.

Eating out every day – all on the insurance company – sounds great, but there’s nothing like making your own meal. There are no secret ingredients to worry about, the production of a complicated order isn’t causing you stress, because, what if they don’t take of the special-carb-loaded sauce, and the convenience of being able to stay home for dinner is just that, a convenience! I absolutely hate running errands. Even if I’m going to Hardee’s to pick up a low-carb burger, I still have to make an extra stop after work, or go home only to THEN go back out into the traffic I don’t want to tolerate anymore. Lucky for me, though, S will stop on his way home and grab us dinner most nights.

I miss my kitchen.

I have things I can microwave, bake, or cut up on the cutting board for snacks, but no sink to wash the dishes. If I really want that glass of wine, I then have to worry about possibly breaking that glass in the bathroom sink, during the wash, because there isn’t enough room to comfortably rinse out bubbles and cabernet. What gives?! I’ve never been good at being patient, but give me a break. I have two perfectly delicious pork shoulders hanging out in my freezer, and I’ve been craving them for at least two weeks. In my mind I hear the sizzle of the raw, butter-drenched meat, sizzling in the pan; browning and curling before my eyes and nostrils. Don’t forget the peppered asparagus.

I miss my kitchen.

At the end of all this, S and I will have a brand spanking new living room, dining room, and kitchen. I shouldn’t complain, but emergency remodels are a different type of monster that haunts my nerves. The idea of having a completely different looking home is exciting. Everything we planned to have done to the downstairs – where all the drama has happened – is becoming a fast reality, and I can’t wait to show it off. It’s the mixture of excitement and slow, simmering frustration that’s driving me quietly insane. Once the construction has actually begun, I imagine I’ll feel much better about the whole situation. At least we’re getting plenty of practice now before we remodel the upstairs portion of our condo! But, alas…

…I miss my kitchen.

Our Father’s Anger, Our Lessons.

The men in our lives can shape us in ways we never realize. The recognition, and understanding, of the lessons their most honest energy projects, can strike as sharp as a burn to the finger. As a child you’re too young to recognize any damage adulthood has inflicted upon your father. As a teenager, you’re not allowed to comment on anything that is said between two adults. “Be seen, and not heard… Don’t speak unless you’re spoken to…” were regular instructions throughout my upbringing, and little did I know the effects of these instructions would only sharpen my understanding of my father’s unshared emotions.

In the world of adulthood, you tend to catch comments, expressions, and reactions of older members within the family; especially those of fathers.  My dad was an Army man with a tough exterior, social superpowers, and a strict confidence that ruled our household. He knew how to have fun, and we felt his love, even though we never really used the “love” word growing up. At the age of sixteen I watched him morph into another being. Divorce had blackened his insides, and bitterness flowed infinitely. Not knowing how to fully process this new man – a poisoned shadow that danced inside my father’s body – or his reasoning, I was forced to grow up and assumed that he was just setting a negative example for my siblings and I. We’re on good terms now, but it took us a while to get back to a settled place where we could begin to understand each other; although I still don’t get him all the time.

S’s father is a warm, honest, and gentle soul. I tried to offer him some of my hippy-dippy zen advice – after hearing enough complaints about something he and my mother-in-law had been left out of by his family – only to receive a sharp, and deeply planted response. “I don’t care to get over it.” My advice was to find a way to get over the issues he had with the family, for his own health. “Well, everyone handles things differently, I suppose. It definitely doesn’t help if no one is communicating” was my exit from the conversation. I know my boundaries, respect my S’s parents, and realize that you can’t help everyone, so I stopped responding to any opportunity to share my little bit of wisdom.  I still don’t have full details about what happened, but what was it that was causing him to hold on to that dark energy?

My dad is fifty years old, and S’s father is in his sixties. What I’ve learned from these two, completely different men, is more than I can fit into any closing paragraph. I’m only twenty-eight years old, and I know there are people out there that will say that I’m too young, and that I haven’t truly experienced life. Everyone has dark days, grey moments, and pitch-black thoughts in life at some point, and in mine, I’ve learned to let go. I search for the lesson in all of life’s curveballs and strikes, and try to move forward as positive as possible. Harnessing anger only turned me into someone I didn’t want to accept lived inside of me. The feeling was that of being stuck in quicksand with a speeding semi truck seconds away from barreling right through me; fear, uncertainty, and uncomfortable welcome. These gentlemen are a reminder to try. Try to accept, grow, and move forward. If happiness is faint, reward yourself in that happiness, and challenge yourself to gain more.