Monday, June 23, 2008
Lessons from my mom that she never knew she taught me. Lesson: Dishes
One of my best friend Sarah Gagnon (Baumgarten for those who knew her when) were discussing all the time it takes to do the household chores required to keep a neat home. We, and I think many other moms, would agree that dishes are a time-thieving culprit. Some of you may have the luxury of dishwashers; but anyone who has bought an older home in New England – or anywhere really – knows that installing the space hog in an already cabinet-sparse kitchen is often not an option. Then we began to talk about how our mothers seemed to do it all – vacuum, dishes, clothes – with time to make dinner every night! How is that possible? Have we slipped into some time warp that zaps time? Doubt it. Are we lazier than our mothers? Well, that’s more probable than a time warp… Or maybe it is because we’ve become obsessed with silly things that make accomplishing tasks harder than they have to be. Sarah and I both recalled similar sinks in our homes growing up. In the morning mom would fill one side of the sink with a few inches of water and dish soap (by the way she still does this). That would do for washing the dishes from breakfast until some time in the afternoon. Then she’d do the same thing after dinner. As a teenager I thought the lukewarm, semi-sudsy liquid floating in one side of the sink was disgusting. Thus as an adult I became obsessed with HOT water and LOADS of suds. No washing MY dishes in THAT type of water… I used a lot of soap and a lot of water… But often found myself loosing steam, even though my dishes were awash in it. So Sarah and I asked ourselves, when did we become obsessed with “sterile” and forgo good old “clean”? I never contracted any strange disease because my mom washed our dishes in THAT water. In fact, I would consider myself quite healthy. Again in my life I have learned from my mom – old dish water never killed anyone (don’t quote me on that) and it makes hand washing the dishes more manageable. I guess we just need to learn from the experts – they’ve been doing it a lot longer than we have. Thanks mom.