The following is an excerpt from a weekly column Kristy wrote for a New York Times subsidiary years ago. I scanned a copy of it to include with this post. She was one of the most popular writers for that paper according to its editor. I felt this column gives the tone of her life and her industrious commitment
to life and family. I didn't include recipes that she added for her readers. But I can tell you the lasagna was delicious.
***KRISTY'S KITCHEN--April 12, 1989
Cleaning house is a chore, but nevertheless, it must be done every week—week in and week out. It's a part of life. And if that's so, why not have a cheerful attitude about it?
I had a home economics teacher in the 10th
grade who had an enthusiastic attitude about homemaking. One day while we were cooking, she said, "I love cooking so much, Why, I even love it when I'm cleaning my kitchen after I've cooked a big meal."
My parents also influenced me. Even though Mother worked as a secretary and actively participated in church and community activities, she kept a clean house, and she delegated chores to each child. Daddy helped by washing the dishes. That was before dishwashers were commonplace.
He always quipped, "If I had a nickel for every dish I've washed, I'd be a rich man."
I had another teacher in my 12th
grade who had a big sign on the wall that read: A place for everything and everything in its place. Every day, while we were in her classroom, she drilled us with that motto and it stuck with me ever since.
And so when we pick up, glasses and ice cream bowls sitting on end tables are placed in the sink or dishwasher. The kitchen counters are wiped off. Throw pillars scattered across the floor are put back o the couch. Junk in the kitchen table is sorted through and discarded. The newspaper is folded and put into the newspaper rack by the rocking chair.
On a particular day I was revved up to do some good, hard work. I even tackled "put off" work—cleaning a few windows and sweeping down the back-porch screens and eaves. All day I worked, stopping only long enough to eat a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. As the clock inched toward supper time, I finished the last chore and poured myself a tall glass of iced tea.
I sat down for a quick break and my first thought was what to fix for supper. Actually I had thought about it earlier in the day and had thawed out some ground beef. I finally decided on lasagna and within 30 minutes I had a large pan in the oven.
While the enticing aroma filled the air, I showered and changed into fresh clothes. Later, as I sat with my family around the table eating a hot meal, this incredible warm feeling crept over me. First, I looked down at the kitchen floor and then around the room and into the den. Everything was sparkling clean and fresh smelling.
A sense of accomplishment enveloped me and then a feeling of thankfulness for all my possessions surfaced. I glanced at the tall bookshelf my 96 year old grandfather built for me. The dark cherry wood on my antique couch and rocker gleamed and I thought of the pleasure I had in painstakingly refinishing them last year.
Finally, I looked at my healthy family and couldn't help thinking: Life's so good.