The dirty side of spring cleaning

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

April 7, 2011

Thank you for the attitude adjustment. I am now inspired to image my tasks as art. "Dance for dog and vacuum" will begin at approx 5 p.m. today!

April 7, 2011

A nice piece written in a beautiful, positive spirit---thank you!
One household task I've learned to love and actually prefer is washing dishes. Years back, the old dishwasher (the appliance, not me!) gave up the ghost; the gaping hole left behind eventually led to a kitchen remodelling, yet in the meantime, we took up again the practice, the task of washing dishes by hand. For one, it seriously doesn't take that long, unless dinner involved multiple guests, or we had a gathering; for another, there's something about the task, whether done solo or with another, that is calming, ritualistic, with positive effects: old hands have heat therapy, dishes are cleaned and put in place in cabinets, kitchen is readied for the next activity. Often if doing dishes with my kids, now adults, we have accompaniment from the stereo; we talk, banter, discuss, sing, laugh. I have memories of similar experiences in my own upbringing in the 60's with sibllings and parents. I remember shared meals on weekends in our neighborhood "cooperative" during college---I did the dishes. I think of doing dishes solo, late night, in a darkened house, just one kitchen light on---with time to think, reflect on the evening's events, and beyond.
I realize that the appliance allows the task to be done, freeing us to do other things; but I would miss washing dishes.

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