Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Washing Dishes

Today's picture was taken in 1942 in Bantam, Connecticut. The picture shows a mother and daughter washing dishes in the sink. Automatic dishwashers have been a huge time saver, but I can not help but think that something has been lost. I believe that there was something special about mothers and daughters spending time together each day, even if that time together was simply washing dishes. I wonder how many women today have special memories of time with their mothers washing dishes.


  1. Not me. My good memories of my mother include baking, knitting, reading books, going for walks, and late night chats. When there were dishes to be done, me, being the oldest, did them myself. My memories of doing dishes are of doing an unpleasant chore while everyone else relaxed and had fun after dinner.

    I hate doing dishes. I love my dishwasher.

  2. Actually, that is a good point, but don't limit the bonding to moms and daughters. Dish washing was a chore (and remains so for stuff that doesn't go in the dishwasher), but those are some fond memories -- Mom washed, I dried and put away. My mother also taught me how to cook and once I had athletic supporters in the laundry, how to do laundry as well. I was well-trained when I became an adult.

    Dishwashers are nice, but sometimes we lose something when we advance.

  3. Not me, Jack.
    We are both glad to have dishwashers.

  4. Not me. As the oldest of 7,(there is 16 years between me and my only sister). I did the dishes by my self. The brothers did not have to do house work, but I had to help with the outside chores. It seems, me and my mom were never on the same page. She was closer to my brothers.

  5. My wife's mother use to tell me that my wife hated to do dishes so much that she would ask to be able to do outside chores instead, and that included doing work in the barn, things like shoveling out the barn. She lived on a farm with all the animals that normally came with a farm.
    But she purely hates to do dishes.

  6. My daughter and I baked together and her brothers often joined us to work on crafts.

  7. I don't really remember Mom doing dishes, though, I'm sure she did. By the time my memory kicks in, I did the dishes and my sister dried. Mom and Dad did the cooking. I did the garbage and the lawn (and the walks in winter). Mom taught both of us to sew, though, my sister got lessons beyond buttons and darning.

    Carried that over to adult life. If my wife cooks, I do the dishes. If I cook, she does them. Seems only fair. Although, I will put off doing buttons hoping she'll jump in and do them for me.

  8. Mathan.
    That is a good set up, but when my wife cooks, I do the dishes. When I cook, I still do the dishes.
    She purely hate to do dishes

  9. Aside from the ladies bonding, I think modern (suburban) life has eliminated many of the chores that parents used to do with all their kids.

    Putting up storm windows, raking, painting the house, changing the oil in Dad's car or even waxing it. (I can't remember the last time I saw someone do that.)

    I think you're right Paul, something has been lost in modern society...the opportunity to share time.

  10. That's a sweet photo. I have great memories of washing the fancy china dishes and crystal glasses in the sink at grandma's house after Christmas eve dinner before we got to open presents. Thanks for stirring up those happy memories!

    I've never had a dish washer...


  11. We didn't have a dishwasher growing up, so mom washed and I dried, nearly every night, for the 10 of us. It was often a time to talk about things bothering me, or stuff happening at school. There's something about working side by side that brings out the deeper conversations. But I'm still thankful for dishwashers today!

  12. PJM I suspect you never handwashed dishes every single day for an entire family. "Leoal" is spot on. It is a drudgery very few enjoy. I DO NOT have pleasant memories of washing dishes growing up - or ever. Mom was always in a bad mood cleaning the kitchen, she hated washing up and taught me lots of shortcuts. My pleasant "chores" memories with my mom is taking a walks at sunset to shoot rabbits and taking care of the animals.
    I know one man who told his sons to clean up the kitchen after every meal as appreciation for their mother's cooking. After meals, she did not return to the kitchen until they had cleaned it. There were no daughters. This was in the early 50's - pretty rare then (and now) and Dad was from the South.

  13. Note how little she has on her kitchen shelves. I wonder how she reaches everything even if she used the little step. Today we fill up all our kitchen cabinets with little space to spare. Looks much simpler doesn't it?

    I remember doing dishes with my Granny when we would stay with her for a week in the summer. First she let me pick the radio station on her stereo. Then we would put the rubbermaid tubs in the sink so we didn't scratch it and we would both put on rubber dishwashing gloves. She would wash dishes in water that burned your hands even with the gloves on !! We would dance and sing while we washed the dishes. I'm sure she loved my taste in music.... :)

  14. Reading these comments makes me kinda daughter is now in college. Her memories with me will most likely be riding in the car. She was on a swim team and was always going to and from practice morning and night. I let her skip a lot of the household chores in order to squeeze her homework into her day.
    Although she loved the swim team I think she missed a lot.

  15. Ross from Maine is spot on -- sharing time is important no matter what you are doing.

    I purely hate dishwashing. My hands crack and bleed as I have super sensitive skin. Yay for the dishwasher.

    I share time with my girls by showing them how to sew, garden, etc. Just today we planned to go up to the north Georgia mountains and get some bushels of peaches. Each girl wants to do something different with them -- peach pie, peach butter, frozen peaches for ice cream this winter. Yummy!

  16. I loved to do them so much that my parents would save them up all day long and then I would have the honor of doing the crusty old things before supper and then again after supper..usually by myself..My Dad would sometimes dry and put away for one else was "required" to help..when I flew the coop at 17 they bought a dishwasher.
    Today, I still do them by hand, as we do not have a dish washer in our house..we do them together..with just two people how many dishes can you use anyway:)

  17. Mary brings up a good point. For everyone I know, their pleasant memories of older relatives are DOING THINGS WITH THEM. Not the activities like sports and lessons they did outside the family.


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