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I Cleaned the Oven and Found a Memory
by Kailah Eglington
Cleaning your oven has got to be one of the last on the list of "things I like to do"! If you're like many women, you might just tend to leave the job until the bottom of the oven is littered with carbon mountains and burnt crumb trails. And let's face it - the smell of Mr Muscle Oven Cleaner isn't one to engender any sense of homeliness as the fumes vapourise any last remnants of the muffins you made this morning!
Ah, but within the recesses of the coated oven walls, amidst the black mountains and crispy bits are to be found some wonderful memories! As I don my elegant, yellow, maximum protection rubber gloves and wield my trusty scrubbing sponge, I let my mind wonder and go on a voyage of remembering for 15 minutes or so.
See that splodge of burnt purple muck over there? That was the blueberry pie I baked two weeks ago. My son had come to visit. He was filled with the excitement of his first job and weren't we proud of him! And that sticky mass in the corner? That was the lasagne I made to fill hubby's belly after a long day at work. He was so tired and it was so very late, but the bubbling pasta was just the thing he needed to put him back to rights. I'll never forget the look of contentment on his face when he finished.
Oh and let's not forget the burnt brown sugar topping just there. See it? I baked those for a coffee morning with my sister-in-law. She was feeling a bit sad that day and needed something to cheer her up. Well, there's nothing like Cinnamon and Brown Sugar topped muffins to do the trick!
You see, chores are chores if we choose to make them so. Seeing chores as a way of remembering turns them into a voyage of re- discovery, a way of bringing those special or important times back again, even for a fleeting moment. To me, viewing tasks in this way also helps me realise that while a moment may pass, a memory lives forever. They are also wonderful reminders to get in touch with someone again - "How is the job going, son?", "Did you manage to get the drawings finished, honey?", "How are you feeling today, sis?"
It's all a matter of how you look at things. So, the next time you see a horrible job looming before you, look at it another way. Ask yourself what that chore will tell you about yourself or your life today? Then take the time to remember and reflect. And who knows? Your oven might turn out to be one of your best friends!
Kailah Eglington is a writer, designer and photographer who was disabled in a life altering accident in March 2000. Being housebound until recently, she re-discovered her love of writing, crafts, photography, baking and just being a girl. She taught herself web design and launched Kailah's Korner in January 2002 but, unfortunately this appears to be no longer available.
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