Cleaning Cycle

This week, I tackled the challenge of cleaning the oven. After nine months at home cooking and preparing three meals a day, it was hard to tell what color our oven actually was. As I looked inside, I saw crumbs from pizza and movie nights every Friday, holiday pies and birthday cupcakes that got a little too full and spilled over, and morning toast. It wasn’t going to be an easy task, but even as I cleaned, I wondered what 2020 would have been live for our oven had our country not been ravished by a pandemic.

I thought about those times we cooked together and something within me knew that the memories we had made and the crumbs we had left were indications of a deep living, a togetherness, an allowance for slow mornings and baking cookies because we had the time and nowhere to go.

I often wonder what our brains will remember about this time. Psychologists tell us that there so much we won’t remember about everyday life, the challenges, the stresses, the uncertainty, the stress. But our children will remember the feelings they’ve had during this time.

As I was making dinner last night in a clean oven with a five-year-old and a twenty-two-month-old playing chase through my legs, I hoped that I, too, would remember the feeling of being together, of creating and discovering, and even sometimes forgetting there was something in the oven until the smell of burned toast filled the air.

Perhaps the warmth of the oven and of something cooking will nestle deep within our hearts and senses to remind us of this time at home. Maybe we’ll even miss it some day. Until then, there are cranberry orange muffins to enjoy.