I'm taking a break from cleaning. *Ahem* I'm learning what over a month of cleaning only minimally without G around means. And it's overwhelming. Normally I would not be letting the dishes stack up, but I spent my first trimester exhausted, sleeping, and drinking as much caffeine as I'm medically allowed to. I'm now into the second and while I have more energy it's been a bit of a stressor. However, I've found that in order to run the dish washer you have to actually use enough dishes... which is difficult with one person. So, I'm cleaning like a mad woman before T gets here, though I know she doesn't care if I have pans in the sink. I do.
That being said, cleaning my kitchen has me thinking about my dream kitchen. I mean, we all have one (well, all of us who cook at all). Our kitchen here, for as large as it is, has a distinct lack of storage space. This might be because I have a distinctly humongous amount of pots, pans, baking sheets, etc. But we also lack storage for pantry items. My dream kitchen has both a walk in pantry area and an underground cellar where canned goods and cured meats can be kept cool. And wine. Oh yes, definitely a wine cellar.
The thing I want most in a kitchen is a wood burning fireplace with enough room for a couple chairs in front of it. We keep the house cold in the winter and there's nothing like curling up with hot cocoa and marshmallows in front of a roaring fire. And I also wouldn't mind being able to keep it nice and low embers with a cast iron grate to keep our tea piping hot.
Luckily, I spent my last break looking into small towns that have awesome Christmases, and found an excellent candidate in Woodstock, Vermont. In fact, I'm planning to check with G to see if he wants to take a weekend trip up there in October to see the foliage and sleep at a B&B with a fireplace (I found a couple where we could bring the dogs!). This town has been named "The Prettiest Small Town In America." and has a Wassail Weekend every December with holiday activities. So, pretty much my dream retirement place. The homes are old, most with plenty of fireplaces and old pine floors. If we could find a property with a sugar maple or two I'd be set for life!
Do you ever dream big and far off in the future? I think it used to make me unhappy with the here and now, but lately I've found it centers me, keeps me focused on living life the way we do, so that we can retire to someplace like that someday, sooner rather than later. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but we're hoping to retire in our early 50's with G simply teaching at a local college part time. A life where we can live it slowly, savoring the every day mundane wonderfulness.
Oh well, time for Cinderella to get back to cleaning!