My in-laws have come and left. These 7 1/2 weeks have gone by quickly.
Bob took a day off the day before my in-law left so that we could all spend time together out of the house. His parents were originally reluctant to go out as my father-in-law just wanted to finish packing and my mother-in-law just wanted to finish cooking all the food in the fridge. Somehow my in-laws refused to go anywhere touristy this time. They did all of that seven years ago. This time they just wanted to visit places like Tar.get, Ik.ea, and dollar stores. I literally had to force them out of the house with us. And I am glad I did. My MIL is very into flowers, trees, and plants. So we took them to the Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park. It was delightful to see her eyes light up as we walked by all these fragrant flowers. Just happened that there was also a walking tour at the time we arrived, so we followed a docent, learned a few things about plants, and smelled/tasted some flowers and plants during that one-hour tour. Afterwards, my in-laws enjoyed a cup of mocha t Starb.ucks. It was an extremely pleasant way to conclude their trip.
Bob originally joked that he would need a vacation from his parents’ visit. We even looked into staying at a bed and breakfast and going to the train museum in the Sacramento area. However, we decided that getting the house back in order was more important and would make my life easier when I have to pick up cooking again this week. We saw our in-laws off at the airport, went grocery shopping, and purchased three huge utility plastic boxes at Tar.get. I was already very tired when we got home, but house cleaning was calling my name. After not having full control of my own kitchen for almost two months, the urge to put everything back in order was very strong. When my in-laws first arrived with their four suitcases, we had to move stuff around and out of the cabinets in order to accommodate their spices, containers, and utensils. For the whole afternoon on Saturday, I washed all the stainless steel utensils and containers and placed them all in the huge utility boxes we got. I wiped every single inch of the kitchen counter including places that I usually don’t touch. Thankfully, my MIL cleaned the stove right before she left, so I didn’t have to attend to that. I cleaned the drawers in the fridge before the groceries went in. I planned all the meals and already marinated a pork tenderloin for dinner for tonight. I rearranged the pantry and put away the flour, the dal, and the rice that my MIL used frequently for cooking. The kitchen floor was wiped clean. Finally, Bob wiped down the whole range hood as grease from Indian cooking was covering it for the last two months.
The kitchen has not been so spotless in a very long time.
And it does feel good to have my kitchen back. Yes, the house is feeling a bit too quiet and I miss having meals, tea, and coffee magically provided daily. But I also cherish just being by ourselves and really truly having down time when I come home. This past week I sat here at the kitchen counter and typed up notes while my mother-in-law showed me how to make a few dishes. I am confident that I’d be able to replicate some of them successfully. I learned how to make madras coffee and made it successfully yesterday. It took quite some time to make the decoction of the coffee. It makes me appreciate my mother-in-law even more as I think about how she labored in the kitchen for two months for us providing coffee, tea, lunch, and dinner. Right before she entered into the security area at the airport, she told me that next year she’d return for our baby. I told her that I’d try my best to bring to this world a baby. She placed her hand on my head, said a word of blessings, and told me that she’d pray to her gods. I know that her gods are different from my God, but I am still touched the way she shows her love to me.
I truly hope that next year they will have to ponder about coming to visit because of a new addition to our family.