Doing it by Hand In My Sonoma Kitchen

 “It all just seemed so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic.”

                                                                                                                                                 -Miranda Lambert

My Sonoma kitchen reminds me to be grateful for the many ways that life is easier now, but it also makes me nostalgic for the hands-on effort and attention to detail that used to be part of maintaining a home – even a small one like ours.

I’m old enough to remember when homemakers baked their own bread, home-cooked every meal, stripped and waxed kitchen floors by hand and looked out their windows to gauge the weather before hanging laundry on a line. It’s a vague memory now but I can remember milk in glass jars being delivered by an actual milkman who left it by our side “tradesman” door. I’m certainly not tempted to get rid of my washing machine or gas dryer but hanging sheets and towels outside to dry is so much more enjoyable here in Sonoma than back in my foggy San Francisco yard.

Things I rarely (or never) used like rolling pins, cookie cutters, flour sifters, hand crocheted potholders, embroidered dish towels and little glasses (some used to hold jelly) just for drinking orange juice now seem to call to me.

Sonoma red kitchen
Vintage kitchen items in our Sonoma cottage

I love that my kitchen window opens with a crank, my window sill over the sink is made of metal and that my sink sits above a checkered skirt instead of cabinet doors. I added some colorful juice glasses to our pantry, have an apron hanging in the wall and use a vintage cookie jar to store our sweets. (Stay tuned for photos of those beauties!)

All are charming reminders of the era of doing it by hand and are a lasting tribute to those who took great pride in making their homes comfortable and welcoming.

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