A strong smell of fried fish wakes me up at 6 am. One-of-a-kind alarm. Our host loves to cook. She cooks for her family, for her friends, for her church. They love her cooking & she can’t wait to start. She is an early riser, no matter that her small group stayed late yesterday. This is why she lives. She is happy.
Our one-bed duplex that her family graciously rented to us, newcomers with no credit history, has the same air conditioner as the house’s main part. Thus, the smell. The wall that separates our condo is not very thick. Thus, the noise. But they are very friendly & they speak our language. Thus, this peace.
My grandma used to cook very well. My mom can cook ok. I do not cook at all. Cooking is not my passion. And eating too. My stomach issues started when I was five and never entirely ceased. So I am always on some kind of diet. Especially when I am nervous, and that is almost always too. Today, I have sausages & I have a frying pan, but I can’t eat fried sausages.
My creativity comes to the rescue! The hand-me-down frying pan is quite deep. I can boil my sausages in there! Genius! While the sausages boil, I dive into some nostalgic thoughts: our cozy house in Ukraine with a tiny kitchen we designed ourselves. It had all we needed: a dishwasher, a multicooker, a breadmaker… I come back to my sausages, boiling in a frying pan & sigh…
Then, I think: so, what? My husband is alive & he is with me – that’s what matters! His grandpa & grandma are our first guests of honor. They presented us with a brand-new sparkling white teapot! Grandpa was 15 when World War II started & only God’s miracle helped him to escape being taken by the Nazis. He understands. He welcomes. He blesses. Life will eventually come back to normal… we just need to buy a cooking pot.