Cycling around are the fashions that be. Who knew one would need to update cupboards as the archways give way to linear. Clean lines are in. The old needs an update, apparently.

Who knew? Nary a word was spoken of this phenomenon as year after year grandma’s pine cupboards holding flour bins exposed themselves at the tip of the pulling on of handles. The pulling out of breadboard for an extra place setting was magical for the lucky kid who was chosen to use this space of grace. Just fine they were those hand-hewn flat pine boards with silver handles. They were grandma’s and, after all, grandma was always in style.

Served up was homemade chicken chopped fresh from the coop for such a time as this. It was comfort food each Sunday as we gathered on the farm. Clean was grandma’s simplicity and clean lines did her cupboards hold all rectangular like, so perhaps grandma was far ahead of the pack as cycling around is the recycled or up-cycled and it’s all good.

The heartbeat at the farm remained strong as the farm hearth burned bright from the metal grates upon the floor casting reflection of fire below. Every so oft bare feet would totter across those grates and soon the crisscrossed waffle burns upon bottom of feet were tell-tale of a little one who just forgot.

Update on the furnace for safety was a smart thing to do.

Update on the plastic bin in which grandma scrubbed the dishes to clean before she placed them into the new dish washer grandpa surprised her with one day, opened a whole new world for her. Rolling it across the kitchen and hooking hose to sink worked like a charm, but truth be told, grandma only participated in the plot to clean those dishes a new way because grandpa’s heart had given the gift.

She much preferred her Tupperware bowl in sink and the gathering around for conversation after the food had been eaten. The dishes done in crew-like fashion was a bonding sort of deal.

All the while the cupboards stood the test of time because behind one door…was grandpa’s stash of sweet treats. Only grandpa could go there and only grandpa could offer anyone a treat from his pile of sweets purchased in town. No child dare ask, for it would not be polite. No, respect was not only expected…but lived out deep-like within the clean lines of the pine cupboards which stood watch.

Psalm 136 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”

When cupboards don’t endure, or corduroy pants or Tupperware plastic dishpans in sink, know that His love does. It not only endures, but endures forever. Amen.

Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.

Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at


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