My brother cheated me out of the joy of doing dishes when I was a kid.
There I was, down to the forks in a sinkful of sweet suds when he came
in for a glass of ice.
"Ha! Ha! Ha!" he taunted me.
"Lin's gotta do the dishes -- like a girl!"
It wasn't that his opinion was worth getting, but the mere fact was that his opinion stuck in my craw like a piece of glass. He didn't even get his hand on the freezer door good before I hurled the fork in my hand at his back.
It missed, and stuck in his neck instead. It stuck in his neck so deeply that it quivered there like a tuning fork. It sure looked pretty.
Wayne faltered to his knees, a scream would have risen to his lips, but I was there at his side to keep it from escaping. One hand clamped his mouth shut. The other pushed him solidly against the freezer so he couldn't wrench himself loose and do me bodily damage. "If you wake Mama up from her nap she'll kill both of us."
I kept my hand over his mouth until he quit struggling against me and his screams subsided. Then I yanked the fork out -- and made him wash it.
Revenge is an awful thing, and seeking it tears the very blessings of heaven from our grasp which are still available to us. But I had not learned that powerful lesson at that time, and I am sad to relate that ever thereafter I made sure Wayne was the one that did the dishes when my turn came.
It isn't like doing the dishes was something boys in my family didn't do. ALL of us did the dishes some of the time. It was just that dishes was a chore they tried to get out of to go do something more fun.
I wasn't adverse to having more fun, but I never really thought of doing the dishes as UNfun either. In fact, doing the dishes once gives me as much satisfaction as cleaning up a whole 40 acres of hay.
The principle is about the same too. When a field of hay is done it looks clean and ready to grow again. There is a dynamic principle to the process. The dishes were dirty; now they are clean and the job is done. When the dishes are done the whole kitchen is sparkling and ready to go again. A man can lean back satisfied with either job done.
Being able to do the dishes and cook got me my first real job as a cowboy. "Can you batch?" Why, SURE I could batch. Did he think I was helpless? And being able to batch (be a bachelor) was my ticket to being the ONLY cowboy on a huge ranch up at the Grand Canyon.
There are a number of contributing factors to receiving that satisfied feeling from doing the dishes. #1 of course is to start sooner. Even egg yolk comes off easier if you scrub the plate before it cakes up.
Hot water and good soap are essentials. Doing the dishes in cold water steals half the fun out of the job. I start with the plates because I can see success being achieved with each one I do. I pile them up in the water to just below the surface so they can be soaking as I go. Then I use a long handled brush to wipe the food off. One little, two little, three little swipes should be enough to make a plate sparkle in my hands.
I pause for just a moment to gaze at my reflection. Done right, you can shave with a straight edged razor using your reflection off a clean plate.
When I need to relax or think a problem through there are two activities that never fail to produce results. One is painting. The other is doing the dishes.
If the weather is good I'll get outside and slap paint on anything standing still. Not that I slap paint on anything, of course. No, most of the joy of painting (by hand) comes from the intense concentration required of getting the paint on there just right, in the tight spots, and with a straight edge.
It is the same way with doing the dishes. The sense of achievement doesn't come from getting them done and
I was blessed with six daughters and I taught each one of them not to limit their likes or dislikes because of gender. Each one of them learned to drive a tractor before kindergarten, each of them could drive an automatic
So, I switched jobs with her and began doing the dishes. Timidly she handed one back to me. I took it, looked it over, and sure enough, it was not clean. I washed it again and went on with the dishes.
Minutes later she handed me another one, eyeing me even more reluctantly.
The third one she hid in her hand for a moment.
"Is that one still dirty?" I asked. She nodded, backing away. "Hey, I will NEVER get angry with you for pointing out something I didn't do well enough, or something I can do better than I've been doing."
She put that statement to the test more and vigorously and by the time we finished she was smiling as she put dishes back for me to do over again. It was a good time together. Not only had I learned to do dishes a whole lot better, through my example SHE learned to handle rejection without it hurting her as much.
Doing the dishes by hand doesn't make everyone happy; that is why God invented dishwashers. All I'm saying is don't let anyone's HA, HA, HA, stupid opinion keep you from doing what you do enjoy.
Gender should have no place in deciding what you really like to do; I've known macho football stars that took up knitting, and there is no reason on earth for me to be ashamed of enjoying a sink full of dishes now and then.
Take pride in who you are and what you like doing, even if there are some fools to this day who believe that gender should decide what we like or dislike and that doing the dishes is for sissies.
Why, If I could just remember who sold me that bill of goods, I'd -- Why, I believe I'd throw a fork at him!
Lin Stone is a professional author, writer, and photographer.
Many more of his works appear on the Tale Wins G-Rated web site.
Click HERE to see a long list of his short properties.
Please Click HERE and let us know if you liked this story.
Nurturing the family in these times, by Earl H. Roberts.
Some of J. T. Hale's ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence. Nathan Hale is counted as one of his relatives. (They come from the same Hale family) These are parts of his own personal heritage but ALL the signers of the Declaration are part of every American's heritage. That means Nathan Hale can be a hero to all of us. After all, if you go back far enough all of us are related to kings, queens, and all the other rapscallions too.
The recipe for keeping the modern family together still begins in the kitchen.
I've learned, I have! I've not had the best time of my life! But, I have learned to accept the bad with the good. You do not know what your life will bring tomorrow, so enjoy all that you've been given today.
Free Scholarships for your young scholar. It takes hours online every day to update, research and verify all four thousand of the Scholarship offerings available. YOU can get all that information for FREE. The Scholarship Directory contains textually enhanced links to over 4,000 websites where you can register for all types of Scholarships and Grants for your children. Download the Directory for free, and while you're at it, take the time to register for a FREE Scholarship worth $10,000.00
They sat around moping when Daddy died because he had not left them any legacy. They were so down in the mouth that I stood up and volunteered to pay Daddy back for that time he drove 350 miles to get me when my car blowed up and my whole family was stranded on the road. "I figure that kind of service call is worth a thousand dollars because he kind of done it on credit and I never paid the bill. I'll put that in the pot for yawl a legacy to divide up."
Down with the Willow... Daddy always was a better man than I; How do you deal with that? The Willow was bigger than both of us.
Pray for your spouse because in these treacherous times there are forces threatening us in the workplace as never before.
Whistle -- an inspirational Father's Day Story because the promises we forget are usually the ones never forgot.
The First Day of School is always the toughest, by Lin Stone
Pretty Pictures taken by a father who might could have been something. If only, if only.
Smiles, by Filomena Borsellino. A smile is the sweetest Treasure on Earth.
Michael was not my problem. When he first came to us he was a bundle of boyish energy, too large for his age and too bright for his years. It was said that he ran his poor grandmother to death, and having seen them together I believed it. Itís strange. All of us believed it, but none of us helped, not like we should have. Oh, we hoped she could hold out, and some of us probably prayed God would give her more strength. But somehow we all felt Michael was HER problem, and not ours.
The Ice Cream "Comb" by Rick Beneteau because Quitting is never an option.
Ice Memories that never get cold, by Lin Stone
I Can't Remember You: That first shock of being forgotten by someone we love is enough to turn our world upside down. All I could think of to say was, "I am someone you have been very kind to over many years."
Kids and Sunday School, by J. Edgar Hoover.
Grandma's Bath Tub, an essay of love by Lin Stone
Doing the Dishes: Take pride in who you are and what you like doing, even if there are some to this day who believe that gender should decide what we like or dislike and doing the dishes is for sissies.
Living with Spina Bifida, a poet's story.
The Hug.. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we can't get what we want until we give it away to someone else first.
Remember Grandpa: Nearly 17 years later, I can still hear grandpa's laughter, still smell grandma's coffee, still shiver at the memory of how cold those rivers were.
Why Teach Your Child To Read? Reading problems are a further challenge to our world by contribute significantly to the perpetuation of socio-economic, racial and ethnic inequities. However it is not just poor and minority children who struggle with reading. According to the 2002 national report card on reading by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), most of our children (64%) are less than proficient in reading even after 12 years of our attempts to teach them.
in the following categories
Personal * Inspirational * Helpful * Social * War * Freedom * Money
Check out our whole site with one click.