Monday, February 16, 2015
MY VIEW #5: WASHING DISHES
To me, washing dishes was always a pleasant job. My Mother was a very methodical woman and taught her daughters well. So at eleven, Mary did the drying (at nine Mary learned to wash and Mom dried), so now I had to learn at nine to wash and Mary to dry dishes. We learned a lot.
First, you cleared the table and left it fit and tidy. In the kitchen, you stacked all the dishes in one spot, all the glass together, the cutlery on its own, and pots and pans last. All this had to be done, then you got a big pan of hot soapy water, put an apron on, and got busy.
Glass was always done first, then pottery and the silverware. With cutlery, Mom taught us, for safety's sake, always hold sharp knives by the handle, and the sharp edge away from you. This saves cutting fingers, and wear and tear on tea towels. I still dry knives this way.
We polished glasses too. Now "dishwashers" do all this work. I have a space for one, but never bought one. I like doing dishes, it's time well spent, remembering the past, and meditating on the future. And it is so nice to see all utensils put away, for another meal, clean and tidy.
May 10, 2006
It was always incomprehensible to me that Mom actually enjoyed doing dishes, but she jealously guarded this job, even when she would have been more than justified in handing it off to someone else.
When I was a child, washing dishes after a special dinner such as Christmas or a birthday, became a great opportunity for the women to talk apart from the menfolk, who remained in the living room and put away the table and chairs.
Although I have a dishwasher, I still use Mom's method of handling sharp knives, and the order in which dishes are hand-washed, when the need arises, such as when I use my good china and silverware. So my thanks are due also. Thanks, Mom.