Washing Dishes

27 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistI have almost always washed dishes, sometimes I had help, sometimes not. When I was a child, Mother called on me when the restaurant got too busy for her, Dad, and a waitress, if we had one, to handle. My brother washed dishes with me. Usually I washed and he dried. To amuse ourselves we bickered or stacked the dishes in the drainer as high as possible stopping just before they began to topple. We called it making castles. Our parents paid us 25¢ an hour. One day I was at my friend, Patricia Franklin’s house for supper. I loved the Franklins, a big catholic family with five boys and one girl. The girl, Patricia, was my best friend, and I had a crush on one of her brothers. He didn’t have a crush on me.

Usually, Patricia and I washed the dishes after supper when I was there. The Franklins 1obviously had other arrangements when I wasn’t. On this summer evening, when I went into the kitchen to start on the dishes, I figured somebody would follow. To my surprise, no one came. I washed all the dishes by myself and left them to dry piled majestically into a fine castle. I got a lot out of the experience. For one thing I was pleased that my skills were such that someone besides my own family needed me. For another, being so responsible make me feel like a grown-up. The third thing was that I felt I was expressing my regard for the family and they would all pleased with me. I don’t know whether that ever happened, because I’m not sure they knew they had a martyr in their midst. Of course, their being Catholic, I wouldn’t be even a minor martyr compared to the ones the had read about. But I felt good about myself, anyhow.

A restaurant customer once said I was the chief cook and bottle-washer. I couldn’t claim the first part-but the second part was true. I have been washing dishes for 70 years. Every country on this globe has people who can make the same claim (if they have dishes, and more to the point, if they have food).

Now there’s only Bill and me. Together we keep the kitchen moderately clean. I’m glad I have things like that to do. I heard a story once from a friend who visited a rehab center. She gave a talk and after refreshments, one of the elderly women took her plastic cup over to a sink where she slowly and lovingly washed and dried it. You see, she had no home to care for anymore. I’m glad I have jobs to do even now. I thank God for dishes and for everything that goes with them. Also I thank him for my electric dishwasher, even though one of us has to wash them by hand before we put them in or they won’t come out clean.

3 Responses to “Washing Dishes”

  1. dianequicksilvernovels July 27, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    My job at home was ironing. I didn’t get paid, just had to do it every week. Now I make sure nothing in the house must be ironed because I just hate to do it. I’d rather bake bread or dust, really I’d rather go sit at the computer and work on my next novel. Maybe I hate ironing because it was just me and that hot, steamy iron–no one to talk to or play games with while I worked. When I started babysitting and earning money, I felt valuable. I could buy my own things when I wanted. Now that was fun.

    Like

    • Louise Gibson July 27, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

      DIANE, i CAN RELATE TO YOUR CHILDHOOD. iN FACT, WHEN MY HUSBAND SERVED IN THE AIR FORCE OUR MEAGER INCOME WOULDN’T ALLOW THE LUXURY OF SENDING HIS UNIFORMS TO THE LAUNDRY. i HAD TO WASH AND IRON THEM MYSELF. i DIDN’T MIND UNTIL HE WAS ASSIGNED TO McCOY A.F. BASE HERE IN ORLANDO, FLA. WE HAD NO AIR CONDITIONER AT THE TIME. THAT WAS A L-O-N-G TIME AGO.
      DIVORAN, YOU HAVE BEEN A HARD WORKER MOST OF YOUR LIFE, HAVEN’T YOU? ‘MOST ADMIRABLE!

      Like

  2. Old Things R New July 27, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    I have many warm memories of washing dishes after big family dinners. One that I love was when aunt Barbara and I were washing up and drying at my aunt Virginia’s house. Viirginia kept bringing us bowls to wash until finally Barbara called out “You can stop that now Virginia, we aren’t here to clean out your refrigerator.” We all laughed and I will always remember it.

    Like

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