I was working yesterday with my cabinet installers and one of them had done some work for me when he had just graduated from high school, 2003. We had a little reminiscence moment. But then I started to remember all the things that I have tied to that particular year. It was a really busy year- with surgery and difficult to finish projects. The kitchen started in 2003 and ended, well, yesterday. And that is only mostly done because I have touch up wall repair and painting to do still. But I could actually say that we are 99.9% done. That last little bit being such a small amount of the whole project.
I have other major events that mark time for me, too. My wedding to Eduard is coupled with the purchase of this house in my mind. It is all in the same year. My trip to Europe with my children some how got stuck in that year, but it was really the following summer.
There is a blank area of fuzzy memories which becomes really clear at the Kitchen remodel of 2003-10. Somewhere in this large date, all jumbled together, is a foot surgery, hysterectomy, neck injury, Scott's graduation from college, Bryon's foolish meltdown, the new garden beds, and Lorrie's death. The fact that Sara is starting college (moving to the dorms) and on the edge of her own stupid meltdown is like the punctuation at the end of a very long sentence. When I try to remember anything in that mess, I can't find a foothold for dates and times. Forever, Stefanie's wedding will be the year before the baseboards, instead of 2009.
So this brings me to a very important information point- Always write the date on the lid of anything you have canned. Why? Well, most home canned goods are good for one year (two if you are really brave and it is a high acid item). As we took everything out of the cabinets (so that we could do the baseboards), I found lots of stuff from 2006, 2007 and 2008. I didn't even preserve anything for 2009. That was the year of the wedding and I was too busy with stuff. But now, rather than put all this expired stuff back, I am dumping and washing. I do not want to risk any illness from my own foods when there is so much out there that is fresh and new. So I have dumped 2006 applebutter, 2007 pickle relish and 2008 applesauce.
What happened to those years that I didn't have a chance to cook with these things? I actually can't remember much of those years at all. Somewhere in there Stef bought a house, Scott went to China, and my mom had a stroke. Eduard's dad died. But aside from big punctuations, I can't remember much of the time. We built garden beds and hauled top soil- but I can't tell you when. The seasons came and went, kids moved on, chickens became dinner- but when?
This promises to be a remarkable year for Eduard and I. I will try to remember it better. It is starting with the end of the kitchen remodel and the end of childhood. It is starting with the beginning of Eduard/Jeri with no kids at home and time for each other at last. It is starting with a trip to China and some Thanksgiving Duck.
I think the end of 2010 is going to be the beginning of a very good year (s). I hope I can remember it in 2011.