As I looked out my kitchen window this morning and glimpsed lilac and forsythia bushes with leaf buds, I was reminded of the kitchen window of my childhood in the farmhouse where I grew up. Mother also enjoyed gazing out a window while washing dishes and would tell about the one, during her youthful days, above their pantry sink. For years she bemoaned the fact that, in our farmhouse, she had only a wall to stare at.
So one day my dad hauled saw and other tools into the kitchen, bought a window with four panes, and installed it above our kitchen sink. It did brighten the large kitchen and helped make washing the dishes for six family members and hired man an easier task…for Mother, Sister and me.
Window to the World
This became Mother’s window to the world. It opened a view of the brook that ran between house and barn. Beyond the barn was a corn field, pasture and woodland. The scenery was ever changing, depending on the time of day and year.
Glimpsing deer grazing in that pasture adjacent to the woodland, in the late afternoon, was an occasion of excitement for us children. This almost became a daily ritual, looking for the white tailed deer moving slowly across the pasture as they nibbled at the foliage.
Windows in Alzheimer’s Years
Even after she developed Alzheimer’s, Mother looked out the window of the house where she then lived and drifted back in time to the scene from her farmhouse kitchen, even though she was no longer there.
It took me awhile to figure out what she was talking about when Mother told me she saw the cows coming to the barn or the deer near the woods when no animals were outside this kitchen window. Then I realized she was talking about the window of my childhood. So we both reminisced over a cup of tea, providing a happy occasion.
My Kitchen Window
Wherever my husband and I live, even though we have a dishwasher and I don’t spend so much time at the kitchen sink, I still want a window. I like to gaze at the woods around my present home, watch the birds flitting around, look at the trees budding in spring, changing color in autumn and covered with snow in winter.
The window above the sink becomes the heritage of women who spend time in the kitchen. Mine encompasses memories of my childhood and of my mother who wanted her kitchen window to the world…even during her Alzheimer’s years.