Coming Home and the Dining Room Windows

dining room windows

dining room windows

The dining room windows bothered me for weeks. They were always on my unwritten to do list, which meant they would probably not get done. They didn’t. There were a few things that did not get done as we were getting ready for Christmas at our house with our “grown and flown” kids returning home. Those windows were one item.

When one lives in the country, there are many reasons for dirty windows. Cattle, roaming stray dogs, a tractor that spits mud as it drives by the house, and any myriad of bugs and critters outside guarantee evidence will be seen on the west-facing windows. It matters not how thoroughly or how frequently they are washed – they return to dirty in short order. I cringe when I look at them, but there are always other things to do, especially between three and five in the afternoon.

Pride and the dining room windows

Surely folks will notice those windows, I told myself. The afternoon sun was certain to show the dirt when we sat at the table.  Yet, I knew I must pace myself, and this year the windows would not be washed before the holidays. I could forget about them most days, but not in the afternoon. That afternoon sun shines through the west windows, and every smudge and spider web cannot be ignored. It is only in the afternoon, and mostly between three and five o’clock. Every afternoon, I notice them and tell myself, “I’ve got to wash those windows.”

Then I remembered my friend who turned the lights low and lit candles throughout her house one winter evening. She didn’t want guests to see the dust in her house, so (she told me) she tried to hide the evidence. We spent the evening in semi-darkness that she portrayed as ambience to the unknowing guests. I decided my pride had to go, so I left the windows unwashed.

dining room windows

Home for the holidays

Our “grown and flown” kids came home for a few days to celebrate Christmas as a family. There are six of them, five with spouses, and five (soon to be six) grandchildren. We sat around the dining room table for meals and to play games – right next to the dining room windows. No one said a word – not even our daughters who would be quick to notice and to speak. 

It was a busy – and fun – time. Our time was packed with many things: a hayride, smoked turkey, games, gifts, sharing, a bouncy house on the deck, children waking up during the night, a baby who slept well while held, and being together. There were fresh-baked rolls both afternoons for dinner. All too soon, the kids were gone.

Today, the decorations came down and are mostly packed away. The dining room windows? They are still dirty.  I sat here thinking about those windows tonight. Did anyone even notice? I wonder. So, I asked. Nobody noticed (or if they did, they were too polite to respond to our family text!). My pride was untested – and unwarranted.

Coming home for the holidays is about being together, where (sometimes) we slip into our pecking order of childhood. Coming home is about family and bonding, where we learn new things about each other and have fun  being together. Home for the holidays is not about the house, the dining room windows, or the gifts given and received. It is about belonging and finding safety with the ones who have known us the longest. Coming home is about making new memories and celebrating old memories. Coming home is loving and being loved by those who’ve known us best.

Pinterest Dining Room Windows

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