This was the photo I planned to post weeks ago, shortly after Christmas when Ryan made stock from the turkey carcass.
My kitchen did not look this clean and orderly, I assure you.
In fact, I was going to show more of the meat tearing, bean soaking, and carrot peeling - more of the mess, really - because I had the rare luxury of photographing food during daylight and documented the entire process from soup to nuts. Or bones to soup, in this case.
But somewhere in between taking these pictures and writing a blog post, Ryan asked me to marry him, and my focus vanished. We celebrated with dinners in restaurants and a trip out of town, and suddenly I found myself on the outs with my kitchen.
And then, as we coasted on the outpouring of love and plans and happiness, it became painfully clear that I needed to see my grandfather, whose fragile health had just become more so.
The family gathered by his bedside, and we kissed him and held his hand, but nothing that we did could save him.
A few days before he passed, I wandered into the orange grove next to his house to contemplate. It was a familiar place to me, where I had spent many school vacations throughout my childhood.
The oranges dangled patiently off the branches, waiting to be picked and eaten, as they had for years and years. There, the oranges reminded me that life goes on and even during dark days, that life is still sweet.