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Mom of five lovely daughters, wife of one dashing man. Born in Utah, grew up in Oregon, live in Georgia.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lessons from washing dishes

Washing dishes is one chore I never really enjoyed. But since our dishwasher went out it's surprisingly become a task that I look forward to. There is something totally satisfying about taking a sink full of dirty dishes and with a little time and elbow grease transforming them into something pretty and clean. Instant gratification.

And I'm gaining an appreciation for the millions of women for whom a dishwasher was never an option. My Grandma and Grandpa Howe never had a dishwasher. I remember going over to their house for Sunday dinner and helping them to wash dishes. It was a bonding experience. One person would wash, another person would rinse, and everyone else would help dry and put the dishes away. It was a task that needed to be done and the family worked together to do it.

Hopefully my girls will learn to appreciate the beauty of that experience. As we work together we can accomplish good things. At first a sink full of dishes can look daunting. But a sink full of dishes is something that can always be overcome one dish at a time. It's a relentless task, but we can learn that there are simple pleasures in even disageeable tasks. The rainbows in the bubbles, the feel of the warm water on cold hands, and the pile of neatly stacked clean dishes are all things to delight in.

Someday we'll get a new dishwasher. But for now I'm thankful for the lessons I've learned by washing dishes.

6 comments:

Abbi said...

Wow, what a great attitude you have! It's true--washing dishes at Grandma's was a bonding experience. Thank you for your thoughts--I am grateful for the reminder that beauty and pleasure can be found in unfavorable circumstances.

I admit, while I was in Romania I didn't love washing dishes, but one chore I did love was hanging up laundry. I thought it looked so pretty--a line of laundry hanging to dry! :) We'd try to hide our underwear behind and in between other clothes, but even that was kind of funny! :) Anyhow, thanks again for this post.

Michelle Pyne said...

It feels good to tackle a job and get it taken care of! I love your attitude - changing a negative into a positive. Thanks!

Michelle Pyne said...

PS I especially appreciate that great new hand-knit dish rag in the picture!

Audra said...

Wow, way to look on the bright side of things. I'm not so sure I'd have your perspective on having to hand wash all our dishes! UGh! But it's true, doing dishes at Grandma and Grandpa's was a bonding experience (when I actually helped and didn't hide out in the bathroom:)).

Chris said...

I think we've gotten so far removed from all the things that brought families closer years ago. Use that as bonding time with your kids. I"m sure it will be something they'll remember too just like you remember doing them at your grandparents.

Sweetest Of All said...

This entry made me want to buy you a dishwasher. NOT BECAUSE YOU MUST HAVE ONE. . . but seriously, wouldn't that be so dang cool to have sears just deliver one to your door and finally get someone a gift that they could really use. I imagined it on their website and it warmed me all up inside.
If it makes you feel better, someone at our house has to scrub each dish clean before placing them into our brand new GE profile dishwasher - because it only sanitizes dishes but NEVER NEVER EVER cleans them. It does throw food all around inside like a champ.