A fun gift on an ordinary day

Our kitchen renovation concluded more than three weeks ago, and the space still feels so new to me.

The other night after dinner I said, “Can we just all stop and appreciate how amazing it is to have a utensil drawer where you can see all the utensils?”

Yes, we took down most of a wall and installed cabinets that go to the ceiling. But sometimes it’s the little things, like being able to find a soup spoon, that can take your breath away.

Like with many aspects of life, however, the kitchen is not entirely complete. My husband has been adding curtains to the windows. And he and I have been talking about how and where we might add a few swatters from my flyswatter collection to decorate the walls.

Deciding where to hang flyswatters is a big decision—maybe bigger than figuring out where to cut the dining room wall. There’s also no deadline for deciding, so we haven’t been focusing on it much. Whether you are a collector who owns hundreds of flyswatters or happen to be married to a flyswatter collector, you’re probably a person who knows how to be flexible and find beauty in the little things. The flyswatter decorating will happen in its own time.

Then today when I met a friend for lunch, she handed me a polka-dot gift bag. I was surprised because it was just an ordinary day.

I looked inside, and I was bowled over.

Inside were—unbelievably—a set of flyswatter-themed towels.

They’re extraordinary. The design is distinctive and stunning. The colors go beautifully with the blank slate of the kitchen. And they say, “Swat team,” on them, which I had never considered as a way of referring to our family. Suddenly, I think we may have found the next name for our wi-fi network.

This morning when our younger son said, “Is it a special day today?”, my mind went completely blank. I couldn’t think of a saint’s feast day or a person in our extended family with a birthday or anniversary. I told him about a colleague who has a birthday, but I came up empty otherwise. I think he was disappointed.

But it was a special day—just as each and every day is. And it was made even more special by this unparalleled gift from a friend.

We do have other kitchen towels, of course. And we certainly have flyswatters on hand to add to the décor.

But you can never have too many flyswatters, too many kitchen towels, or—and here’s the real truth—flyswatter-themed kitchen towels.

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.