The first week of school has been insanely busy. Things are winding down, though, as my schedule makes for front-heavy weeks and lighter days toward the weekend, which I’m glad for.
Quickly, and then I must return to interview prep for the magazine (two staff interviews tonight): I’m taking a Creative Non-Fiction course this semester. Yesterday, our second class meeting, we did a free write. The assignment was to write on one of two words: “neighbor” or “kitchen.” I chose “kitchen.” This is what I came up with, and I like it, so here it is.
The kitchen was always the center of my family household growing up. It was the life and heartbeat of my childhood home, the one my parents are currently trying to sell because they recently moved to Boise.
The kitchen makes me think, of course, of big holiday dinners – my older sister and brother, the cooks in the family, would usually take charge of the meal. My mother would complain about how our oven was too small.
But the kitchen has more subtle significance to me as well: Wandering down late at night to eat something; nervously offering a glass of water to the boy who would become my first boyfriend and, eventually, my husband. When we got the news of my grandfather’s death, we gathered in the kitchen, trying to comfort my weeping mother with silent hugs and stiff nods. I made tea, because I didn’t know what else to do.