These Are The Glory Days

I must admit, when I first met my mother-in-law, I was terrified. My husband would tell me about all the rules she had made and that she did not suffer fools gladly to anyone who broke them—meaning that she wasn’t kind to anyone who disrespected her rules. The whole rhythm of their house growing up seemed so different from mine. But now, looking back, there were way more similarities than differences. But I was too worried about meeting her then to learn that. It didn’t help that my husband’s brothers wanted to have a little fun at my expense.  

Every Sunday, my mother and father-in-law would visit his family in a nearby town. My mother-in-law did not cook on Sunday, so the four of us were on our own for dinner. The brothers directed me to the freezer, where I found tomato sauce and meatballs. So, I made them all a spaghetti dinner. But the next day, the trouble began.  

I learned that those specific meatballs would be buttered and put in a lasagna. Through the thin walls of the house, I heard each brother deny that they knew what happened to those meatballs. By the time I got out of bed, my mother-in-law was on the phone complaining about those missing meatballs; she didn’t bother to ask me! (Also, who cuts up meatballs?!) Years later, my mother-in-law and I had such a good time revisiting that day in the kitchen and what it took to build our relationship.  

I have so many other fond memories of that kitchen. Each night after a big family meal, it was tradition for all the women to head to the kitchen to wash the pots and dishes and put everything away. There was no dishwasher, so during that time, we would share stories and confidences and enjoy conversing with one another.  

This past week, I did a lot of cooking. Many plates, pots, and pans needed to be cleaned, so I found myself in the kitchen again, this time with my daughter. We talked about our lives and what was going on around us. While I made that new memory, it brought back an old one that was just as important. We need to continue to do those routine tasks. Most days are not breaks or vacations. Most days, some things need to get done. Many hands always made light work.  

Let’s create what we want in the routines. There is no reason not to find joy in them, appreciate the connections we can make during them, and declare that these are the glory days.  

It’s a first sip of coffee in a quiet house 
It’s bible verses in the kitchen like it’s holy ground 
Livin’ right don’t cost a thing,
it’s the slow roll of a porch swing,
dogs runnin’ while the birds sing,
It’s you picking that six string
This is as good as it gets 
I don’t know what I would change 
I love this life that we live 
I love that smile on your face 
No, we ain’t gotta look back at all those pictures in frames 
And wish it all stayed the same 
‘Cause right here, right now I say these are the glory days 
Ooh, these are the glory days