By Cathy Leestma

My grandparents had a marvelous Tudor style home at 4610 Bay to Bay in Tampa, Florida which my grandfather helped design in the mid 1930’s. The large kitchen had an extended multisided breakfast nook with the most wonderful divided windows looking over a lush St. Augustine lawn. Hours were spent at that breakfast table catching up on life and enjoying the view. There was another window in my Grandma’s kitchen which also had significance for me. It was over the big kitchen sink where aunts and uncles would gather after the Sunday dinner to dry the dishes that had been laid out on newspapers to drain.3_0818150815


When we were remodeling our lake home here, we asked that the kitchen window over the kitchen sink be as large as possible. Since there wasn’t a kitchen window before (how can that be?) any size would be an improvement. And so it is as I wake each morning and fill the teapot with cool water, I look out my kitchen window over our small kingdom, and give thanks. It is a lovely view of the woods and the trees that fill our yard with peace and beauty.


One morning, years ago I looked out to see a mama raccoon making her way up our newly installed outdoor steps. Close behind were three baby girl raccoons. I know you are thinking, “how does she know they were baby girl raccoons?” Well, at the moment, the mama reached the top of the stairs, she turned around, counted her babies and let out a tirade that in raccoon talk said…”Jr, you’d better get a move on”, turned back and headed up the stairs and into the woods. A few second, here come Jr. up the stairs, the lone male raccoon. Enough said.


I hope you are at an age and stage where you can enjoy these simple and marvelous moments of life and that you’ll pause long enough to make a memory. It could be as close as your kitchen window.