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An uplifting look at cleaning your oven

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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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