Thursday, November 20, 2014

A full cupboard

I just finished reading, The Full Cupboard of Life, the fifth book in Alexander McCall Smith's delightful #1 Ladies Detective Agency series.  I love these stories of the doings of Precious Ramotswe, a lady detective in Botswana.  I also love the narrator for this audiobook series, Lisette Lecat.  She has the perfect voice, diction, intonation, inflection, and accent for these books.

But, I didn't really intend to write about the book this evening. It's the title I'm thinking of and how right now, it seems very apropos to my own life.  I have both an empty nest and a full cupboard.

Matthew and Kailie are coming this weekend.  They got married in May but our NC friends and many of our east coast relatives were not able to make the trip to Colorado so we're having an NC reception/party on Saturday.  I've been baking and baking and baking.  Double ginger gingerbread cake, mini pumpkin cheesecakes, salted caramel apple bars, chocolate meringue stars, lemon bars, coconut pound cake, biscuits and more biscuits and yes, I'll serve our family favorite, pimiento cheese biscuits with pepper jelly and bacon. (It is true that there are dissenters in the ranks who think pimiento cheese is just weird, but they are vastly outnumbered by the lovers of this particular combination).  Anyway, two freezer shelves are full-up and I've still got to make the warm turnip green dip and the artichoke crostinis.  It's gonna be good, friends.

But, I wasn't really thinking about my literal full cupboard (or freezer).

I was thinking more about the fullness of these days.  I am not interested in a crazy-busy-frenzied fullness like a disorganized, overflowing pantry full of past dated canned goods, stale crackers, and moth infested corn meal.  I want a well-stocked-pantry fullness, with the necessary staples and spices in their place and enough room between the jars, boxes and bottles to see what's there and reach for what I need without digging to find it and upsetting the whole cupboard in the process. Full enough with what is needed with gaps in between.

I do stay pretty busy these days. There are rarely (perhaps never) days when I wonder what to do. I often wonder about the order in which I need to do things, but the what is never an issue. Some of those days involve what looks like busy-ness - errands, sewing classes, lab class. They appear more busy than the other days, those "gap" days, the quieter ones when I sit longer with my coffee in the morning and read another chapter.  It is a luxury, perhaps, to linger like this and I feel guilty sometimes. I tell myself, "Get busy.  Get to work.  Be productive. Get a job!"  Or to assuage my (false) guilt I tell myself, "You've earned this.  You raised six kids.  You homeschooled for twenty-five years. You worked hard. Now relax."  And part of me buys one of those lines or the other. But thankfully, the gray haired, sager part of me says, "The value is not in doing things.  It's not about earning anything.  That was a season and this is a season and the quiet, extra chapter days are for fullness, too."

So, my cupboard is full of doing and not doing.  Of items and spaces; of activity and gaps.  I could list some of the activities, show you what a day looks like and maybe you want to know, but it will not be a prescription for anyone, only an accounting of this particular life.  Let's save that for another day, though, for a discipline for me, perhaps, to show up in this space a bit more often!

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