Well, it finally happened -----our dishwasher bit the dust and we’ve had to wash our dishes by hand!! I remember the days on the farm when one meal’s preparation and clean up heralded the next. Large dinners for work crews, family dinners, community events, and clean up after canning and preserving honed our skills.
Dishwashing is a chore most people try to avoid. Hence the invention of the DISHWASHER!! Yes, it is so convenient, saves time, produces shiny clean dishes and is super sanitary!
On the other hand, you have deprived yourself of the experience of overcoming the challenge and also from the satisfaction of glistening tableware using your own two hands!!
I personally find dishwashing very meditative. Preparation for the activity involves planning, sorting and decision making. It gives you time to slow down. To fully benefit from the experience, it must not be hurried. Immerse your hands in the hot soapy bubbles and relax. Be thorough, check for food stubbornly clinging to the dishware. Decide whether a brush or sponge is needed. Finish with a clear rinse. Let them air dry or dry with a dish towel.
There are also the added benefits of contemplation and recalling memories of gatherings and celebrations with friends and family. Remember how you came to have these dishes. What foods were served on them? Notice the pattern. Think about how they were made. Hosts take pleasure in presenting a beautiful table setting to their guests. I must admit that there are special dishes that I have never entrusted to a dishwasher. Why do we have so many dishes? Do we need them? They are even included in our wills! However, we discover that our kids have different tastes and lifestyles.
Washing dishes reminds us that we are responsible for cleaning up our messes. It also creates a sense of community service. Care of objects being washed must be taken in order to preserve them for future use and enjoyment just as our Environment deserves care. So having elevated the task of dishwashing, I will leave it to you to find the joy. I will be purchasing a new dishwasher but I’ll have to wait until PayDay. Until then I’ll be grateful that I HAVE dishes to wash!