Sunday, February 26, 2006

Doing dishes from years before.


Sunday morning.....

"Where the hell's our dishwasher?" I asked myself, looking at the huge mess left from last night.

Answering myself, I heard me say, "You are the dishwasher, stupid!"

In our house, I do the dishes. My wife would like for me to have a dishwasher, but I defer. Maybe the reason we fight tooth and nail on this dish washer issue is because of mornings like these. Being the only house in this entire end of town sans a dishwasher is a badge I wear with pride at times, particularly on these mornings.

See it's only rare occasions with very special meals like last eve that we even break out the China.

(And note, here, China is a misnomer, because I remember as a very young child when my mother received these cups and plates and saucers. And I remember appreciating the beautiful pieces of that China, even after discovering the conundrum printed on the bottom of each where it was stamped in the tiniest of print, "Japan".


I never mentioned this to my mom. She was so proud of that set of China with servings for 12. Even then, I knew my parents had come thru the hard times of the depression long before I ever came along. This was mom's very first set of China and it meant so very much to her. It would be her only set of China.

But it was post WWII when Japan bore the reputation of the vanquished and anything Japanese was thought of as inferior goods. As junk.

It was only over the years with the rise of Toyotas and Nikons that I began to appreciate our dinnerware. Somewhere along the way, I realized the Japanese were probably the foremost makers of quality China, for wasn't it we Americans who had taught them so well the secrets of glazing and high temperature firings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

And so one of the things I pride myself in yet today is the fact that, as a kid, I never asked my mom of her new dishes, "Mom, why, on the bottom of each piece of China does it say "Japan"?

But you know what I really like about those plates, cups and saucers? Well, it's washing 'em the next morning after an evening with special friends like last night. By hand. Not in some machine with hoses and heating elements.

Because as I clean each one, I'm remembering the history of these dishes. I'm thinking of all the people from my past who ever ate off each plate or drank from each cup. And it amazes me most are now all gone. It's like my personal hall-of-fame of family and friends now departed, but in these few moments now resurrected.

There was my folks, my two older brothers, 17 and 18 years my seniors, whom as a kid I worshipped and looked up to so much. Of old family friends and aunts and uncles and cousins. All dead. Of Christmases and Thanksgivings gone. And hams, pot roasts and turkeys served up with all the trimmings. Of the green beans that sat on my plate and the embarrassment I suffered before so many of those people because I couldn't excuse myself from the table to go outside and play til I'd eaten 'em. And by then they were gaggingly cold.

And so this morning, alone with those dishes as my wife--who'd so deliciously filled them the night before--still slept, I passed an hour's time with those plates, cups and saucers. It seemed like only a minute or two. But before I knew, the dishes were done. And as I replaced them affectionately back on the shelf for who-knows-how-many-more-months before the next special dinner, I put away my parents, and my siblings, and all those friends and family so important to me so very, very long ago.

And you just don't get mystical experiences like that from any dishwasher with hoses and heating elements.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was a very touching story, Dada. It made me happy to hear of resistance to at least one modern "convenience". I feel the same way about "central vacuum systems". But vacuuming doesn't exactly produce the those wonderful memories you describe (except when finding the occasional cold green bean on the floor that even the dogs won't touch). Take good care of that china!

Off topic, I wonder if you'll be participating in Lilly at LTN's "Corporate Apppreciation" this week? She's soliciting contributions from bloggers. See her Corruptco.Blogfest update post from 2/21 if you missed it. With so many corp criminals today, the hardest part might be to concentrate on just one ... so many in just Texas alone. D.K.

dada said...

D.K. You know, D.K., I don't know if I'm for a strong centralized vacuum or smaller, less powerful decentralized vacuums. While we've seen the misuse of power that can result in the centralized systems, it's a shame people need vacuums at all. Vacuuming is one of the absolute worst evils we must live with.

Honestly, the more vacuuming I see going on, the more I suspect all vacuums should be outlawed and we return to anarcuumism. We'd have to recycle all the old vacuums. I have a suggestion for their possible use. We could all live in our own vacuum!

As for Corporation Appreciation week: I visited Lilly's LTN. Thanks for the link. It was far too intimidating a topic for me. I'm more into zingers than detailed analysis. But I look forward to reading the contributions over there.

But given enough rope (and believe me, we've given 'em MORE than enough), Corp World is going to implode. Sadly, we all live inside. But, on the bright side, I may be outta here before total collapse.

As for blogging, it appears I'm in that ebb portion of my cycle. Oh, the amount of resource material is definitely NOT lacking, but need to replenish the soul is strong.

I won't make any promises like, "going to take a few days off" because I don't know if I can. You know how something totally outrageous can give one an unexpected energy boost.

But it's almost March. And it's tax season. And I'm still curious about driving a Hybrid and getting estimates for a new roof. Little things that tend to get neglected, thanks to the day-to-day distractions of our strong central system of vacuuming we have.

(Ok, that was blatant, but I tried to pull it all together....sigh.)

Anonymous said...

Jeez, Dada, your comment was worthy of a whole blog by itself. Only a keen mind could have come up with "anarcuumism". Hah, hah! I laughed at that one, with little tears (or lacerations as Dubya would say) that it would come to the point where "mere anarchy" is an alternative since we no longer have the possiblity of a reasonable restrained govt. Then again, I suppose each of our own little domains is still the last refuge for the anarchist, as long as he's capable of ignoring social obligations & taxes & such ... so maybe quasi-anarchy at best.

Oh, and that "central vacuum"? Of course my literal mind was referring to an actual household "convenience"! It's marketed as such a big improvement. It came with our new home & for the life of me, I can't see why people would prefer it to a regular old hoover. It's big & cumbersome to drag out, it takes up too much room to store that huge hose, which scratches the very flooring it's vacuuming. Little spot clean-ups are a major chore requiring much muscle work. Instead of a nice, enclosed dirt bag to throw away every so often, I have to deal with a large ugly tub of visible shit festering out in the garage. Oh, and power? Its monster motor is very strong & is sold to the consumer on the basis that it will be able to suck SOOO much more dirt & such. But in the end, all that horsepower is needed merely to suck the household dirt all the way back to that holding tub in the garage. It doesn't do any better at real dirt removal than my hoover. Hummmmm, I see your alliteration was completely valid. My central vac is symbolic of all that's gone wrong with our bloated intrusive govt! Yowch, time to drag the old hoover out of the closet & ignore that centralized beast.

Yes, I'm looking forward to Lilly's Blogfest this week. It will be interesting to see each blogger's interpretation of "Worst Corpo in the World" (say it in K. Olbermann's voice). Obviously, the choices are staggering.

And finally, as I've said before, taking off days or even weeks from blogging may be healthy for your personal life. But I hope the continuing outrages will drive you back if only to put a voice to that sputtering stuttering constant "no, they can't be serious" conversation in your head. As a lurker, I find great solace in reading your perspectives. I find myself checking your space every morning to see what thoughts you've had overnight. Then I think about them during the day and sometimes (well, most times with your blog) I'm compelled to comment. Selfish, I know, especially considering the hard mental work is all on your part. But hell, YOU have the damn blog for a reason I presume. I'm thinking your "ebb" phase will be kind of like a tsunami that sucks all the water back from the coastline for a bit, then comes roaring back in as a tidal wave! I'll be waiting (but on high ground as the true observer I am). D.K.

Anonymous said...

Re: Hybrid...I'm sure you'll do the research. I recently read (don't know where) that the hybrid tax credit (that's CREDIT, not deduction, therefore very valuable) are limited to the first 60,000 cars each mfr sells this year. This is a BIG incentive for GM, Ford to ace out the competition. Since they're so popular & have a proven hybrid record, Toyota & Honda will reach 60K cars by April/May & those who purchase one for the rest of the year won't qualify for up to $3K tax credit. There is a different tax credit am't for each vehicle type depending on some govt formula for true fuel savings, so not all get $3K. Just things to consider if you haven't already.

Or, maybe you're thinking of buying used? Well, NO tax credit AND watch out for ones close to 5-yrs old as they will need that expensive battery replaced soon. Just thought I'd pass that along. D.K.

dada said...

D.K. - wow....sounds like you've done your homework re hybrids! Appreciate your input. We don't don't put a lot of miles on our vehicles, so in comparing the cost of a hybrid with a normal high mileage gas guzzler, the extra cost of a hybrid makes it difficult to justify. (Although, most of our miles are city driving.)

Of course, the higher gas goes, however, the quicker the price difference between the two vanishes. And I have never figured in the tax credit, which would help diminish the cost difference sooner. But neither have I factored in battery replacement which, hopefully will drop in the next few years. Whew! Lots to consider.

But thank you for opening my eyes to include factors I'd been omitting in my cost comparisons.

As for for your input on vacuums, I've been living in envy for some years now of people who have all the security and other advantages a strong centralized vacuum provides its citizens. But from your experience, it may be I should content myself with our small decentralized system we live under.

Thanks for that enlightenment.

enigma4ever said...

Well, I see you and DK have been having a lovely chat...I have been tied up with some home matters and sadly I have been offline- now I need to catch up with Blogland and also email.
I loved this post, such a small sweet thing...dishes, and tending them like a garden...and how you captured the treasure that they are, as well as the memories they hold....
I saw the discussion about vaccumn cleaners...I love my old vacumn..."Harvy"...I name appliances...and my son and I take him apart ,"surgery", and tend to him...it is much more of a personal relationship...he is a grumpy old friend at this point...
Keep Blogging...it matters...especially the little things....

dada said...

E4E!!!! I speak from the heart when I say this. Your absence has been transparently ENORMOUS!

In fact, earlier today, I went to your site contemplating whether or not to inquire of your absence. But rather than cause alarm among your throng of faithful readers, I told myself, "Hold off, if only a bit longer."

I'm sure your absence is glaringly obvious to all our your followers, as I'm sure it's been an unspoken fear of D.K.'s, mine and others who've come to enjoy your comments here as well.

We're just glad to see you back. Know your absence WAS noticed, if not commented upon. Hopefully, your home matters have been resolved and e4e is back because you have been missed.

And speaking of Harvy....one of the quirks I became more aware of after marrying my wife was her tendency to name inanimate objects, like her 1966 Rambler, "Henry". It struck me as quirky. But in time I realized there exists an 'anima' within all creatures, to include inanimate objects as well. So I have no problems with your Harvy. We have our own Harvys as well.

I plan to blog about one I just spent a couple of hours with out on the driveway this beautiful afternoon. He's been in the family 11 years now, and is sooo much more than sheet metal, paint and rubber. "It's" become part of our souls.

Welcome back e4e. Tonight, the world's regained a little normalcy! And, as always, thanks for the most kind comments.

enigma4ever said...

Dada- Your post was my first stop on may way back to Blogland- wanted to make sure that the piss& vinegar , and fine Texas Southern Wine was still flowing ...as well as your creative approaches to most things...I have to warn you that March is going to be a long month- and there may be some more breaks- but please know that I always come back...I am too fiesty to be put down for long....But don't worry I am still here and still in "good" spirits.( that translates into plenty pissed off).

My second car, ( 1978) after my lovin-ugly orange Vega, "Pumpkin" bit the dust was a 1966 Cherry Red Oldsmobile Cutless Supreme, with white leather and the best sound system ( and crappy brakes) , his name was Henry- he would have been happy to sit in the driveway with Henry the Rambler.....I drove that car to three Rolling Stones Concerts- I thought I was SOOOoooooo Hot.....( one of my dates laughed when I showed up in that car- I put him to the curb- told him to walk to the Stones).

( I only made him walk a short ways.....)

Anyways...thanks for your kind words...I am now heading over to read about your 11 yr Beauty.....

( and thanks for saying that my absence was noted...I tried to quietly sneak off , but if I was missed that is a nice thing....I will try to blog later tonight...)

some_maineiac said...

well, D.K., given your proven ability to comment with great insight and knowledge on a wide variety of topics, you would consider a blog of your own or perhaps a spot as a roving guest blogger when the creative muses temporarily depart the principals or when they need to go off to replenish their souls??? (or fix the roof, or do the taxes)...you would be an admirable fill-in for any of the blogs we appear to frequent...

Anonymous said...

Gol, maineiac (blush), you're in a good mood today. An actual blog would be real work though, much easier to comment on other's hard work. And my taxes are still staring at me, too & now the weather's turned nicer I've got a landscape project to start.

Oh BTW, I'm still laughing over a comment you made some time ago at Lilly's LTN in response to some idiot named "manimal" who brought up flooooridation & you responded with some great "precious bodily essence" quote from Dr. Strangelove. And Dada seems to be a big Strangelove fan, too. Have you ever noticed that most "liberals" who love that movie, can quote big parts of it ... but when you find an occasional "republitard" who claims to like it, all he really likes is the end with Slim Pickins ridin' that bomb down & blasting it all to hell? D.K.

enigma4ever said...

Republitard ????!!! too funny....
and I thought calling them Repugnants was so clever....
I went to one of my more favorite blog sites this week and commented about bombing Iraq for "freedom" and the the hypocrites that perpetuate this myth....and I went back later and found out that I am now "labeled" a pacifascist ( I am not sure I spelled it right- much less what it even means), OR a islamofascist - the Repugnant Republitard was Asking WHICH I am....
I am not even sure What the hell they are talking about- much less what I "AM"??? I thought...know...I am just an ordinary LIBERAL...

Sorry Dada....apologies for going off subject....just this whole label thing set me on another path...

some_maineiac said...

yeah, D.K., I had my weekly head examination today followed by the bi-monthly haircut, so I feel like a million bucks and look like the dashing, handsome, hillbilly that I am (hahaha)...thanks for the compliments on my occasional wit...i'm with you on the blog authorship thing, though, i find it much easier to play a riff on the thoughts of others rather than come up with something original of my own...(eeek!, I might fail to be original and entertaining!)

and I can't say it any better than Dada, but it's great to see you back on the screen, enigma, now matter what the topic is or whether you think you're digressing (you're not, IMO, take a good look between the lines of Dada's post)...

some_maineiac said...

and, ya know, that whole thing about throwing the full bags from the hoover into the trash reminds me that's one more thing I can do to reduce the amount of waste I produce...those bags full of dirt, dust, wood chips and ashes, bits of paper and cat hair will decompose quite nicely in my garden compost heap!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, enigma, I can't take credit for Republitard. Jeananne Garafolo on Air America used it some time ago. I have to say I've taken some flack for using it in public though, as if I'm making fun of the mentally handicapped. Hummm, if the shoe fits ... And I hope you've been watching C-Span 2. Leahy just got through calling Bush "Caesar" and accusing him of expecting a "By your leave, sir" from the senate to renew the patriot act. Next up is Russ Feingold (if they don't recess) & I know you have a soft heart for him.

maineiac, a TRUE hillbilly cuts his own hair "annually if necessary". D.K.

enigma4ever said...

Oh, Dada- I think you yourself have opened a little Cafe here ( much like the Enigma Cafe)....Maine Friend:
a true hillybilly cuts his hair with old bent toe nail clippers or rusted hedge clippers...I am sure you look very respectable...

DK...I was writing to a friend about Aspirations ( double entendre there) and I did get totally distracted by CSpan and did see Leahy reference Ceasar ( I also pondered knowing the King's asswiping limited knowledge of History- he would take it as a
as a compliment...) and yes I did get to see Russ...
and yes I still have a soft spot for him, especially when he is pissed...( good to know that he makes my heart beat a little faster...just when I despair NONE of them have any balls, some Brass ones appear on the Horizon and give me hope...)

Dada- please throw some more coffee on, it looks like you can't get rid of us ;-) and do I have to pay a fine for discussing balls ? ( just checking ;-0

( cause I would gladly put money in the jar...)

Anonymous said...

Oh, e4e, maybe Leahy shouldn't have given Bush any imperial ideas? All hail, the crime king. And "pacifascist"? Only a feces-flinging dyslexic troll could begin to comprehend that. But then we've seen those guys are perfectly capable of holding two opposing thoughts in their minds at the same time & not capable of seeing the apparent dichotomy.

Dada will need to include some herbal tea on the menu for non-caffeiners ! D.K.

enigma4ever said...

"feces flinging dyslexic trolls???" OMG.....LOL...
( so does that mean they trhow crooked as well?)
and yes, if you write that uncorked without caffeine- tea for you....

Dada where are you ?

dada said...

OMG....I am soooo loving this. You guys are doing a wonderful job. And, truthfully, you've been a great distraction in what has been a horrendous day.....more on that later after it (hopefully) calms. But there have been sooo many wonderful comments worthy of comment here today.

Yes, it's a very small "cafe", E4e, but it's a grrrreat crowd! Small, yet oh so intimate.

Now, excuse me....I must go to bed early tonight as my wife is taking first shift with our last greyhound. At 200 (200+, actually, can anyone count more than three times/per second?) breaths/minute, Pony, having NOT laid down save for 2 hrs in the past 40, is so totally stressed, she no longer knows us, and no longer cares. We've proven hours ago, we're NOT the gods she thought we were.

The vet's magical concoctions have yet to do a thing...and we await a return call for something, ANYTHING, stronger that might hint of relief.

Sorry. PLEASE don't let this be water on the ambers of a wonderful campfire chat. Continue....I will TRY to catch up later.

And as for news....it sounds like another great day of horrendous shit. Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dada, there is NOTHING more important than attending to sick family & friends and Pony qualifies on BOTH counts. As one who's been through this a few times, I believe she DOES feel your presence & love, even in her current condition. Your wife's & your love will see that she is as pain-free as possible. Dogs have great memories & you are still gods in her mind. I sure hope she comes through it OK.

I hope you don't mind my saying this, but one of my great solaces at those times was the knowledge that my vet & I could ensure a pain-free end if it came to that.

So PLEASE let us all know how the nightwatch went. I'll be thinking good hopeful thoughts.

And the wonderful thing about "campfires" (like your blog) is they can always be rekindled later. D.K.

some_maineiac said...

well, i'm up all night waiting to hold the hand of my client while a new project goes into effect at 4AM...so I'll send some hope your way for Pony's health...what a shame they can't tell us where it hurts so we can do the right thing...

enigma4ever said...

Oh Dada I send you and the missus hugs and prayers, and have lit a candle for Pony.....I don't know all the details, but I do know that dogs do respond to Morphine- my little scotty had cancer and was on morphine for a long time- and had a more comfortable passing with it....Vets rarely prescribe it- the Vetinary School at U of Colorado ( FtCollins I think?) know the dosage etc......they helped my vet prescribe morphine for Bogie...( and yes I named my dog for Humphrey Bogart....he looked like him- )...Prayers and Blessings to you and yours...

dada said...

A few disjointed comments to some comments from the commenters here. First, as noted in my blog today, it's starting far better than yesterday, i.e., ol Po's resting somewhat comfortably.

Thank you all for your wonderful kind thots and wishes. You know, D.K., it may be an old saw, but one of our company this past weekend said of "the end" for a loved pet, "I'd rather be an hour early than 5 minutes late," in reference to when you put them down. I hadn't heard that before, but it made me and the wife realize we were way more than 5 minutes late with Annie in November but, in fairness, neither of us had any idea she was so bad. In fact, we thought she was on the mend.

So, yes, when that time comes, it comes quickly and suffering is ended once and for all. The first time I witnessed that, with our dear Dalmation Susan, I looked up through teary eyes to the vet and said, "That's pretty good stuff. Do you do this for people too?" She muttered something about she wished she could. (In fact, it worked so fast on Susan that by the time the vet got done saying her "goodbye" to Sue, it was too late for "Daddy", she was already gone. I never forgave her for that. We have a different vet now.)

BTW, when I read "republitard" I misread it the first time. I thought you'd written "republizard", D.K., which of course would be a grave insult to our reptilian cousins everywhere. Whoa, wait, that's what republitards are, isn't it? An insult, not just to lizards, but every living thing.

Maineiac's suggestion to you to blog D.K. was a great idea. Just know if you really get a rant you simply can't contain, feel free to e-mail it to me, or put it in a comment and we'll move it up to the front page. That's how this blog came about. I began as a substitute for Nona over on Fishwars when she went out of town for a few days last spring. So thanks, Maineiac for planting the seeds of revolution in yet another brain. (Oh, and did I miss something Maineiac? What's this weekly brain exam thing? Is everything ok?)

Sounds like we missed some good C-Span yesterday. You know, Democrats are a lot like I view humanity thru my misanthropist's eyes. That is, there exist a few individuals among them I dearly love at times, but collectively, I hate the whole damn bunch.

But listen, reading youse guys, I have learned to never enter into the ring of verbal joust with any of you. You all are so creative and your skills so honed.

"feces-flinging dyslexic troll"??!! OMG! I'm the type person who retaliates with the perfect comeback--the next day! (After I've had 24 hours to think about it.)

Speaking of hours...I need to correct something I'd said earlier about Pony lying down only 2 of the past 40 hours. My wife recounted and it turned out it was 2 in the past 22 hours. Otherwise she'd be dead wouldn't she?

Of course, Gitmo prisoners are made to stand for 8 hours which is no problem as their leader and executioner, Don Rumsfeld, assures them. He often stands for 8 yours while working. It's just no big deal.

Oh, need to go get breakfast, I said at the beginning of this it would be disjointed...sorry.

enigma4ever said...

We are still here Dada..we will keep the campfire embers aglow and the coffee brewing....and huddle with you as you tend to your Beauty....take time as you need we will be here if you need us...that is what blogs are ....a haven in the storm...

( OMG you told us we were creative and intelligent...now you will never get rid of us??!!!!)

some_maineiac said...

dada, thanks for your concerns, but it was merely a self-deprecating reference to weekly talks with a headshrinker to help keep me on a sober path...you know, the "you should have your head examined" response to people who do crazy things...

that was a salient observation about an early decision to put a beloved pet down rather than prolonging the suffering...it's a difficult decision to make, though, because some animals have amazing recuperative powers...in my experience, the first feline to die at home was kept alive far too long (i objected, but did not press the issue with my ex)...she was a brave cat who lost a canine tooth and damned near had her leg ripped off while fighting off some attacker, but she healed and lived another 7 years...in the end, though, she was nothing but a bag of skin and bones with pus oozing out of her eyes...

Anonymous said...

Jeez, maineiac, are you a neighbor of Stephen King up there? That description is real horror story material. And I'm glad you're taking good care of your head. Sometimes I think the whole country is batshit. Seriously, is that a symptom or a sane response?

Dada ... "Republizard" !!! That's a keeper, for sure. Were you thinking of The Doors "I am the Lizard King, I can do anything" ? D.K.

some_maineiac said...

relatively speaking, from your distance, D.K., I am a stone's throw from Mr. King's home....

"republitards", yes, an insult to all living things...

"what have we done to the earth?
what have we done to our fair sister?
ravaged and plundered and
ripped her and bit her
stuck her with knives
in the side of the dawn and
tied her with fences and
dragged her down"

oh yes, i know my Doors lyrics....