January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Day 15.

This afternoon I willingly took on the task of dusting my parents’ food pantry. The small room, which had originally been a half-bath many years ago, is now missing the sink and toilet and instead fitted with handmade, rustic shelves. The five rows hold a beautiful assortment of canned goods, old cookbooks, vintage cookware, and tiny treasures. My eyes are always drawn to the colorful display, which is probably why I volunteered to spend the time caring for each item. Armed with a bucket of diluted cleaner, a rag, and a sturdy wooden stool I got to work.

The shelves are set up in a fantastic display. Jars of homemade tomato sauce sit beside antique pitchers, one of which is atop an old wooden box. Glass bottles of homemade maple syrup stand like a decorative forest for the three small gnome figurines. There are both short and tall jars of jam, many mason jars full of salsa, two types of pickled vegetables, and nearly half a dozen large jars of honey (all homemade of course!). The little, square teapot with accompanying square creamer and sugar bowl are painted to look like an old-school European village, and I remember them from my childhood. I quickly but carefully dust each piece as well as its surrounding spot before placing it back in the exact place I took it from. I almost forgot where the handmade leather moose lived, and somehow had a difficult time remembering the placement of the antique, deer head in correlation with the pottery jar. By the time I had finished dusting each piece I wanted to stick my finger in a jar of honey or crack open one of the tempting jars of jam.

Every worn-in cookbook and shiny antique on that rustic shelf now stands out a little more to me, but not just because they are lacking dust. I spent time looking a bit closer and realized even more greatness to the functional display. Instead of seeing the pantry as a whole I now know each pretty thing that it’s comprised of. Sometimes taking a closer look means gaining a greater appreciation…and finding dad’s stash of honey.


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