If you've ever lived in an older home, you know the slightly uneven floors, the dips, the creaks, the small imperfections that come with age. I like the charm and fun of starting a little ball at the top of the floor and letting it roll down the incline and watching the cats and kids chase after it, with laughter and skittering claws playing chase together. You learn by trial and error which way to mop in order to avoid pooling, and you get used to the odds and ends of the home.
We moved into this home almost a year ago now, and so far I've adjusted to the little quirks that come along with a 100 plus year old home. Sure, the floors slant a little, there's steps that took only once to remember their presence, but there's one place that caught my attention after a while. It didn't dawn on me until not too long ago as to why it was there...what caused that flaw.
And I think we need more of that particular flaw....
There's a dip in the floor.
It's located in front of the old fashioned gas stove.
It's one that came about from years of feet standing in front of that old stove. Those old boards have over the years slowly compacted as the weight of the woman of the house stood over it, creating countless meals in that one place. Oh how many hours the women before me must have stood there, stirring soups and stews, frying meats, cooking vegetables, using the canner to put up the season's surplus.
I can picture in my mind's eye women from eras past in their aprons, moving to and fro between the old stove and the old white sink, dashing about as they worked to prepare the family's meals. I can smell the fried chicken of Sunday dinner after church, with mashed potatoes and gravy and all the fixings. I can see the meatloaf fresh out of the old oven and sizzling hot, and a pan of gravy up on the burner staying warm and waiting. I can see a flat griddle in the early morning hours patiently frying pancakes for bleary eyed children. I can smell the coffee percolating on the back burner for the caffeine needs of cook and husband.
At first, upon moving in, I saw this dip as a small nuisance, mainly due to drying time and the puddle that sits an extra hour or two longer, especially in winter. As I've discovered a reason for that dip, I've come to appreciate it. I can handle the extra drying time.
Today in a lot of homes, there's no one there to stand at the stove and stir a pot of soup, to make a goulash, mash potatoes, stir some gravy. No one is home to pull a loaf of bread from the hot oven. The stove top becomes dusty, the floor gets no use. While life was harder back in the years past, with older ways of doing things, less to work with, and so on...one thing could be counted on--mom at home with a hot meal or a batch of cookies, or something freshly made. When at all possible she was home, tending to home and family, nourishing her husband and children with home cooked meals.
And slowly, one meal, one loaf of bread at a time, one cookie sheet at a time...creating a dip in the floor.
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Shared at: The Modest Mom, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, What Joy Is Mine, Yes They Are All Ours, A Proverbs 31 Wife, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions A Wise Woman Builds Her Home So Much At Home