In our old house, the kitchen piled high with the mess, and in our new house, the kitchen piles wide with the mess. The two adults and the child who live here all have more interesting things to do throughout the day than clean, which means it's normally evening before anyone takes action. And by anyone, I mean D clearing off his part of the counter so there's space for the bread machine, and me clearing off my part of the counter so I can set out breakfast bowls and spoons. In the morning, the counter fills up again quickly, but I'm teaching Pippin to help unload the dishwasher so I can load it again.
Sometimes the mess in my kitchen stresses me. On rainy cold days, when the world seems against me, even just clearing the counter can seem too much to handle. Other days it's much more manageable, fortunately. When guests come over, the kitchen gets cleaned quickly. If there's a good movie on Netflix, the kitchen gets cleaned thoroughly (like when I binge-watched historical drama 'The Crown' during a bout of flu and scrubbed everything, including the highest part of the stove hood). The rest of the time, it stays at a reasonable level of comfort.
Today it's way more messy than comfortable, thanks to all the baking and cooking today. Dishes from the muffins Pippin and I baked this morning, dishes from the pancakes we cooked tonight. A pile of mugs from a gezellig visit this morning with my parents-in-law and a friend who dropped by. There are even guest appearances by a litter of seed packets on the table and a bucket of dirt in the sink. It's a cozy disaster, a happy messy kitchen. It's a place where I can feed the people I love, where I can plant seeds for tomatoes in pots, and seeds of kindness and helpfulness in my little boy's heart.
All the same, when it comes time to clean up the happy mess, I'm very grateful for the dishwasher.