When I was growing up, living in my parents’ house, life unfolded in a pattern and with some predictable regularity. In the evening, when dinner was over, Dad would settle down to read the paper, while my brothers, my Mom and I conducted whatever complicated negotiations were required to arrange the evening’s television viewing schedule. Very often, all five of us would be gathered together – paper being read, some sitcom like Barney Miller on the tube – in the little family room that sat next to the kitchen.
The kitchen was at the back of the house and there were no streetlights nearby; as a result, there was little or no ambient light streaming through the kitchen window or the patio door that led out into the yard. For some reason, though, I remember a light on the Jenn Air stove very frequently being left on and bathing the room in a soft, warm glow.
Growing up with my brothers and my parents, we were fortunate enough to enjoy happy times. When I think of that house and the time I spent living there, I have fond memories. For some reason, one of the many mental images that springs to mind when I think of those days is the kitchen, illuminated in muted tones by the stove light.
Thirty-one years later, I found myself washing up some of the after-dinner dishes and putting some things away in my own kitchen. As I dried my hands on a towel and clicked off the light switch on the wall, I turned to look over my shoulder as I was walking out of the kitchen and heading to my own family room. We don’t have a Jenn Air, but there is a microwave suspended over our stove with a built-in light on the bottom. it was on and casting a dull but pleasant yellowish glow on the surface of the cupboards and the stovetop below.
I smiled and headed in to the family room to watch some television with Spouse.