Do you remember standing at the kitchen sink? If you are a child of the 50’s and 60’s — days before automated dishwashing machines – YOU were the dishwashing machine in your family.
Although it was a chore. And what chore is fun? The memories I have of us girls (why do I not remember any boys doing this?) standing at a kitchen sink, hands covered in bubbles, scouring a skillet or rinsing a glass, are not so bad. Although as a child, I probably moaned and groaned when my mama or grandma said, “Girls, it’s time to do the dishes.” You can be assured I didn’t greet that assignment with a cheerful smile. However, I find myself grinning about that time. Just remembering the grand time we had cleaning up after our family meal times. There were some fun – and funny – conversations usually had there with the waists of our blouses (girls wore them – boys wore shirts) getting wet from the damp countertop and the sink water spilling out over our bare feet. It’s an especially joy-filled memory of how my cousins and I laughed a lot while we were there.
According to our parents we cut up a lot at those sinks. It was often after our large families got together for meals at fish fries, holiday dinners or birthday and anniversary celebrations. There is just a camaraderie, girls – and on occasion a grownup , shared over a simple task.
“camaraderie: a spirit of friendly good-fellowship“*
Washing dishes together created some kind of bonding that I’m not sure many of us experience today in our homes. Fellowship. That’s almost an old-fashioned word. But it definitely means something I think many of us want to preserve.
Perhaps it’s that working together at a chore which has such a clear beginning: stacks of dirty dishes, pots and pans piled on a kitchen counter. Then there’s a very specific task: wash, rinse and then of course – dry – every single bowl, plate, fork, knife, pot and pan, and occasionally, coffee cup. Followed by stacks of clean (sparkling if the advertisements are correct) dishes that we had “slaved over” for “hours and hours”.
There seems something beautifully satisfying in this simple job. Maybe it’s something unique to working with your hands. It is. Simple. It becomes special when you share it with someone you delight in being with. What seemed like something to dread. Now, in hindsight. Was pretty cool to be a part of.
During these holi- days. These holy days. Here at Christmas. You and I have occasions to be in simple fellowship with those we love. Those we delight in being with. May we all be blessed by the camaraderie that these wonderful together times create.
May God bless us everyone.
While we are washing dishes.
Or getting one dirty.
“And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17