On Sunday afternoon, we went to our house to pick up a few treasured possessions that we wanted to bring back to Cebu. First and foremost, I wanted my cast iron pan and my favorite metal spatula. I use my cast iron pan every day. It lives on my stovetop and never gets put away between meals. Last summer when we were getting ready to move to Cebu, I knew I couldn’t live without it for six weeks, so I didn’t pack it in our crate. I kept it out, and intended to pack it in my luggage. I left it to the very last. But when the time came to pack it in my suitcase, I was so so so tired of packing things. And I was a wee bit worried that it would put my suitcase over the weight limit. So I left it in my kitchen. Oh, how I regretted that, time and again.
When we came back to Indiana for Christmas, at first I was determined that I would not set foot back in our house. I am very attached to our sweet little house on 6th Street, and I was afraid that if I went back to the house, it would break my heart to leave it again. I know some of you are laughing at me. You’ve seen our house, and you know we’ve entirely outgrown it. But we poured our lifeblood into that house, and two of our children have been born in the time we’ve lived there. Also, it has a working oven.
As the end of the week approached, I missed my chance to have someone else fetch the frying pan for me. And I wasn’t leaving without my frying pan. I had no choice. So back to the little house we went.
Even in the bleak midwinter, I could see that my front garden had thrived over the summer. I wish I had seen it in all its glory! Then we went in the house. Ben’s little sister is renting our house with a couple roommates. They couldn’t change much because we left our furniture. But they did some rearranging, and they decorated for Christmas! There were paper snowflakes hanging in the windows. And there was even a Christmas tree. A real Christmas tree. Our little house looked happy, and lived-in. Just like Virginia Lee Burton’s happy Little House. I missed living in our little house, but I could see we had left it in good hands.
I tracked down my frying pan. But I couldn’t find my metal spatula anywhere in the kitchen. This particular metal spatula looks a wee bit junky. The plastic handle has melted and re-formed several times on the stovetop. Last year, Ben noticed this spatula’s demerits and bought me a replacement for Christmas. I smiled and thanked him when I opened the new spatula. That I stowed it safely out-of-the-way in a drawer and continued to use the old one. I myself had tried time and again to find a suitable replacement for it. Every time I go in the kitchen department of any store, I look at their spatulas. But I’ve never found one that even compares to the one I own. So I cherish this spatula. I could write an entire essay on the merits of this particular metal spatula. But this is neither the time or place. Suffice it to say, this spatula is irreplaceable.
For a moment I was seized with terror…what if they had thrown it away? It does look like trash, so I could understand thinking it was. Or perhaps they had made Ben’s mistake and taken it upon themselves to replace it for me? Ohhhh nooooo… But then I took a deep breath and thought, “If I was using this kitchen, where would I have put the spatula?” And then it hit me. I would have put it in the dishwasher, because I had just finished using it. Sure enough, I opened the dishwasher and there it was, peeking out of the silverware basket.
We fetched some books and a couple other things, then said goodbye again to our little house. Off we went, wistful, but not heartbroken.