My Kitchen Windows

Autumn Sunset

Autumn Sunset

From my kitchen I can see the sunrise and the sunset.

Granted, I have seen many fewer sunrises, but I love seeing them on the mornings I must be up so early. The sunrise window is also the waving window discussed in a previous post. When they were babies and toddlers too young to reach the window themselves, I lifted my children to see that “Yes!” Daddy was home to play with them so that I might for a few minutes at least pull supper together with both hands free. Later they pressed their own noses to this window in anticipation of his arrival or upon hearing their grandpa’s tractor pulling in to our drive.

They loved to see their grandpa stop by after his trip to our barn to feed the cows he kept there. He was an easy man to love with his calm patience and gentle teasing humor – so much like his son, their daddy. It was fun to watch the two of them walking to the barn together, similar in height and build, or stopping to chat beside the tractor, so comfortable in each others’ company. We lost Grandpa Bob too soon in life to a cancer that had struck first ten years earlier. Those ten years were the difference of the children having their own loving memories of him, not just photographs and other people’s stories. A blessing. His tractor sold to a neighbor, and for years afterwards when I would see that tractor from my window the thought “Here comes Bob”, would flicker in my mind.

That window holds the memories of toddling children, first bikes and first cars, black cats, a blonde dog, and the comings and goings of beloved faces, friends and family. A different history is in the sunset window.

My oven faces the setting sun which often forces me to pull the blinds, but I keep them open enough to view the sunset once the glare is over. The yard from this view slopes down toward a creek, and I can see the bench swing the family gave for my fiftieth birthday. We really should sit out there to watch the sunset more often instead of peering out this window. I always smile to see this yard, which started as a humble pasture for cows and is the site of a favorite family story: the lost-until-found-in-the-septic-tank calf. Another time for that one.

We visited this creek when we were dating. My then boyfriends grandparents farmed here and he was driving me around all the family farms on a tractor when we stopped so I could meet them. They were so obviously disappointed to learn I was not a farm girl. At all. But they were kind nonetheless, and I’m sure we were offered one of his grandma’s famous sugar cookies before resuming our tour. He stopped the tractor down by the creek and we climbed around on a fallen log which spanned the creek and took some pictures. It was here he first spoke to me about our spending our lives together. Neither of us envisioned that we would spend more than thirty years of it on that very property.

You can see the flower garden my husband built for me to enjoy from the window over the sink. This third view from the kitchen faces south, to our barn and fields beyond. We do not farm, but have always had dogs and cats to be fed at these barns. My husband has always had a unique walk. I could pick him out from a crowd at a distance by observing it. As he makes the trip to the barn to feed the animals tonight, I notice he now has his father’s gait, slightly stooped forward at the waist. I turn to pull the roast from the oven and glance out the window. It’s another lovely autumn sunset.

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