Monday, February 21, 2011

My dishwasher broke last week...

My dishwasher broke last week. I went to unload the dishes and they were disgustingly caked with dried bits of who-knows-what. This is the dishwasher that the saleman had convinced us would last us until we were old.

Well, we are old...but I thought he actually meant just a teensy bit older.

Sigh...

I filled the sink up with soapy hot water and started putting dishes in to soak. Soon I was up to my elbows in sparkling suds, washing and scrubbing away.

It felt good. It felt wholesome and healthy and brought back so many memories of standing by so many sinks doing the same thing. My parents had four dishwashers (each of us girls reluctant and complaining) and for all of the first years of my marriage I did dishes by hand. It always felt like such a chore back then. You know?


Other than those memories, I only end up doing dishes by hand after family parties and, of course, doing Thanksgiving dishes is almost a written-in part of the holiday itself.

Doing dishes by hand doesn't seem like much of a treat, does it?

But as soon as our Granddaughters saw the process, they clamored to help. They dragged the beaten-up old brown bench over and stood bright-eyed and excited and armed with their dishcloths ready to dry, dry, dry away.

They always help load their dishes into the dishwasher when they're here, but I never see their bright blue eyes light up in anticipation of that task.

And I personally never stand dreamily at the dishwasher watching the morning awaken the side yard and illuminate the just unfurling ash leaves with tender golden color.

This dishwasher is all fixed now which is probably a good thing considering we will have a house full of people for a family get together this weekend.

But for the day and a half that machine was broken I actually felt kind of lucky.

I wonder if in years to come our sweet Grands will remember 'washing dishes the old-fashioned way' with their Grandma.

And if they will smile with the memory.

post signature

45 comments:

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

When I used to wash dishes, it was my best "thinking time". And just think . . . young newly married people today do not know how to wash dishes. But then they also don't know what a rotary dial is so I don't know where the line of decency is fixed at.

H said...

I've never had a dishwasher and my current kitchen is a little too small to even contemplate buying one, but I still quite enjoy the feel of hot soapy water. The only pain is that I seem to end up washing pots about four times each day!

And now that I've caught up with all of the blogs on my sidebar, I'd better head over to Alphabe-Thursday and do some SERIOUS catching up, before Miss Jenny tells me off :D

Jackie said...

ah I can picture you soaking in palmolive dishsoap just like Madge!

5thsister said...

You remind me of Tom Sawyer trying to convince me that "whitewashing that fence" is fun. I'm not buying it Ms. Jenny...not one bit! :o)

Jocelyn said...

I have been doing the same.....Hubby fixed the dishwasher yesterday...but when I first dipped my hands into that hot soapy water...it flooded me with so many memories....

I used to pretend to go to sleep right after dinner when I was kid!!! I did this so Mom would do the dishes!!! It usually worked and I would wake up with a start...right after the last dish was washed!!!

The boys had no idea what I was doing..Evan asked me why I didn't just throw the dirty dishes out..I threw a towel at him and we too enjoyed the ritual of dish washing!!!

Ahhhh...I think I will continue...just for a awhile...until to grows old..I loved looking out the window at the coming and going of the squirrels and birds!!!

Wishing you a great week sweet friend!!! ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I bet they will tell their friends about how they washed dishes the old fashioned way.

LuLu Kellogg said...

You can always come over and wash dishes with me since we don't have a dishwasher (*GASP*) I know, I am probably the only person that does not have one!!!

xoxo

ain't for city gals said...

waaaa. I don't want to go back to those days...my dishwasher and washer and dryer are things I love!...sigh...

BECKY said...

I totally understand, Jenny! When our dishwasher broke a year or so ago, I began washing dishes "the old fashioned way", too...and I LOVED IT! Same as you...thinking time...memories...enjoyed the whole process. And get this...even my husband, The Ronald, washed dishes for me sometimes and said he "kind of" enjoyed it!!

Donnie said...

I haven't had a dishwasher since 1979 and I find no romantic wistfulness while I wash the dishes....lol.... I do love it when we have a family get together and the dil's do the dishes while I sit and visit with them because I cooked. Mostly we use paper plates unless it's a holiday dinner. Those are usually held at one dil's house and she has a dishwasher. lovely post.

Deb said...

I've never had a dishwasher...I know it sounds un-American...but I would rather wash my dishes the old fashion way....I'm sure your granddaughters will have fond memories of their dish washing day...

vivian said...

I dont have a dishwasher and wash by hand everyday, and am totally happy with that. Ive never even had the desire to have a dishwasher. though I must admit, if I had a brand spanking shiney new house, I might have one then.. but in my old old little country cottage I dont have the desire!
OH, and I love ajax.. grapefruit sented dishsoap!! mmmmmm! so fresh smelling!
happy day
vivian

Theresa said...

Oh Jenny, they will remember and they will smile! I am happy you got your dishwasher fixed, they are REALLY handy to have! Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS!

Stacy Lynn said...

The only times I'd say I enjoyed washing dishes is when I did them with my grandmother. We had some great talks standing at the sink. I'm sure your granddaughters will remember these times fondly, too.

myorii said...

Aww, I remember spending my childhood helping my grandmother wash dishes after dinner so I'm sure your grand babies will too. Of course, I also broke a lot of said dishes which resulted in me being banned from doing the dishes until I stopped having butter fingers...mainly until I was in my teens but by then I was the only one in charge of doing all the dishes while everyone was out in the living room watching tv... Yes, sweet memories of days gone by.

These days, I have to do all the dishes by hand since we do not own a dishwasher in our tiny apartment. They do sell little portable ones but the cost of one is equivalent to buying myself a washing machine so I just suck it up and do it the old fashion way :)

Paula ~ castleandcottagesigns said...

What a sweet memory you made. Our dishwasher broke once and I left it 'broke' for almost a year. Never bothered me a bit but the other three dishwashers in this house finally got their way. At first they were always quick to load and unload, now it's back to pulling teeth!!
Happy Monday Jenny:)

Willoughby said...

Spending an afternoon washing dishes with the grands sounds like fun!

In general, I'm not a huge fan of washing dishes. I have a dishwasher, but still end up hand washing big pots and pans and anything too delicate for the dishwasher. I refuse to hand dry them, I let them air dry. It's the one household task that completes itself without my help!

One Mama said...

I have to remind my kids to put their dishes in the machine after every single meal! On the other hand, every time we visit grandparents, they wash dishes by hand together, despite the fact that they have a dishwasher. My kids love scrubbing away next to Nana...

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

-chuckle- Yeah, I too remember doing dishes by hand. Not a fun memory. 'Course, I had no window-over-sink then and it was really blahhhhhhh. ,-)

'Mrs. Bradley' ,-)

Marlene said...

This is spooky...because I have a dishwasher repairman here as I write this. My almost new (September) state of the art dishwasher's control panel went poof! Luckily still under warranty. They just don't build them like they used to.

Yes, the grands will remember...and it will be a nice memory!

Cherie said...

I'm not exactly fond of doing dishes by hand but you paint such a romantic and happy picture here with your grands that I can't help but smile and think they will have happy memories :-D

Cheryl D. said...

Sometimes it is the simple, non-"fun" things that make for the best memories! Nevertheless, congrats on having your dishwasher back!

Brenda said...

What a nice post and a thought to take away with me. I had siblings but I always was the dish washer. I asked my mother who is in her 70's now why I was the only one that did dishes as a child in our family. She said it was because I did them right. Brother. I did not get a dishwasher until in my late 40's after a kitchen makeover in the house I lived in close to 30 years. there was never a spot of one. Finally, I got the kitchen of my dreams and we decided to sell and move. Of coarse there is a dishwasher in this house and I do enjoy not doing all the dishes anymore but sometimes I do enjoy just standing beside someone else washing and getting to just dry and stack the dishes.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jenny I know exactly what you mean. Before Christmas we had some plumbing issues and could not use the dishwasher. Washing dishes by hand was not so bad and did bring back lots of memories. I am glad to say all the issues have been resolved ($$$) and I can use my dishwasher again, but I still do some things by hand...just better that way. hugs, Linda

Mumsy, Chancy and Company said...

I have never had a dishwasher. My son has wanted to put one in for me and asked several times if I wanted one. I really have never had a desire to have one although if one would ask me why I really couldn't tell them why because I don't know. I am glad you had some enjoyable time with the grands while doing dishes in the sink. Hugs

magsmcc said...

Ours had broken irreparably after some false starts- and we are not replacing it! Dry, red hands, here i come!

Nonna Beach said...

I love my dishwasher and would never part with it. Sterilizes the dishes too, which cuts way down on illnesses/food borne residue.

JoAnn said...

I actually enjoy washing dishes by hand. But I also like ironing. So go figure. Both chores are a kind of zen thing for me. I think it's because it's such a mindless task, I can relax into it and let my mind drift. My day job is so brain power intensive, it's nice to have that kind of mental break. It's also really fund when it's with little ones that are excited to help. I used to love helping my grandma with her dishes.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I have to admit, there is something therapeutic about hand washing.
I have a feeling you will have to do MORE hand washing episodes with the girls to make the memory really last. :)

Ames said...

Awwwh Jenny what a wonderful thing creating that memory for your grandaughters.
The way you feel about hand washing dishes is how I feel about hanging clothes on the line to dry. I always felt it was very therapeutic to stand in the sunshine and do something that didn't take any concentration...mindless...almost zen like. Like you said, it just isn't that same taking the clothes out of the dryer and folding them.But certainly convenient.
Have a great Monday!~Ames

Amy said...

I wish I could be so nostalgic about washing dishes by hand. Except I am not. I hate it. Possibly because I don't have adorable grands (or kids) that are excited about helping me. But what a wonderful memory that you have created for them and for yourself.
:)

Country Dreaming said...

Mr Ken does our dishes and a fine job he does.
It is not a favorite job of either of us but until the real dishwasher has a opportunity to be fixed it will be the hands of Mr. Ken or I.

Glad yours is fixed.

Melinda

Judie said...

I wrote a post about my dishwasher breaking last year, but it wasn't as nice an experience as the one you had! The dishwasher was only 6 years old, and had been installed wrong by an old guy smelling faintly of whiskey and body odor.

I was furious that we had to buy a new one, and the manager of the appliance store knew it.

I actually don't mind washing dishes by hand, either, and occasionally do it for fun and let the dishes dry inside the dishwasher. Since Rod loads and unloads, my job is easy!

Pondside said...

Our two year old dishwasher is starting to get temperamental. I think that's taking planned obsolescence a bit far.
My parents got a dishwasher the year I left home - I always found that very unfair!

La Petite Gallery said...

You know I have a dish washer but live alone and I always was the few I have by hand, Only use if if company is here.
yvonne

Pat Tillett said...

You've hit upon one of my disfunctions! I don't mind doing dishes by hand at all and I don't like the way other people do them, and/or load the dishwasher.

When I was young, us kids always had to do the dishes. When we were done my mom would inspect them. If she found an item that wasn't clean enough for her standards, she'd make us wash them over again. ALL OF THEM! (good old Mommy Dearest!) Joan Crawford had nothing on my mom...

NatureGirl said...

I keep hoping my dw will die too. Not so I can do the dishes by hand, so I can get a new one. That doesn't sound like a freight train is coming through the kitchen. Glad you found some nostalgia and joy in the simple things though...

taylorsoutback said...

You really brought back some memories...Mom & I catching up on just everyday things that link us together. We still do but with her severe R. Arthritis & encroaching confusion issues, those times are growing fewer an fewer apart.
We both have dishwashers too but Mom still washes everything beforehand - the inside of hers looks like new! Of course she is of the generation that irons sheets too. They don't make them like that anymore.

Mama Zen said...

There is something kind of mellow about doing dishes by hand.

Nick Thomas said...

You believed a dishwasher salesman? Bet he was a fridge salesman moonlighting

Heidi-"Heidi in Real Life" said...

You brought back fond memories! I only wash dishes by hand at holidays too. I used to "dry" for my female relatives as a kid all the time. Our glasses were never as clean as the dishwasher makes them though. ;-)

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Our dishwasher broke over a year ago. Ever since, dishwashing has become another activity the husband and I do together every day. It gives us a chance to talk about this and that.

Blogging Loulasway said...

what a wonderful post! I have never had a dishwasher tho I dream of having one hahaha I too have fond memories of my daughters pushing up chairs to help me back when they thought it was "fun"!

Gattina said...

When our dishwasher is broken I threat to move out ! so Mr. G. does the dishes until the thing is repaired or a new one is bought. The first thing I asked for at our wedding was a dishwasher. With my Italian husband we had "thousands" of guests ... ! I don't care if our washing machine breaks down I can always drive my laundry to a washing center, but that's impossible with dishes !

Sunny simple life said...

They don't make appliances to last any longer. I have been thru 4 dishwashers in 10 years. Finally I bought an extended warranty and have already used it twice. They just manufacture junk. The old dishwasher in this house when we moved in was from the early 80s. It lasted almost twenty years.