That's because I just got off of Skype - a video program that allows one to talk with, as well as see as you do, friends and family.
The occasion was the first birthday party for the newest member of our family, our great, great nephew. During that visit with family in Oregon, I had a few moments to chat with our great niece, aunt of the birthday honoree. Recently she has been visiting Dada's Dally. I had the chance to ask her of a blog that most impressed her. What follows is that blog.
I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to ask this of my great niece because, recently, Dada's Dally has struck me as devoid of any originality or sincerity. Concerned my latest writings are the evolving stagnation of thought from current conditions warranting more and more of my attention which are, yet, less and less worthy of same.
I realize I have become a snarky bastard! The freshness that once inspired me has become a staleness of repetition of the same tedious old themes.
So, suffer--or suffer not, if you choose to forgo it--with me a tribute to a couple of years ago when Dada's Dally was a bit fresher, a little less cynical. When the world was a bit less stale.
To my mother who has been gone from this Earthly plane for over 20 years now, I wish- belatedly--just like always--a very warm, heartfelt "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!" Those of us here who still remember you miss you a bunch!
(And thanks to a "great" niece for reminding me of this today.)
"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 always I resist. 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 what amazes me most is all who partook from this "China" are now gone.
There were my folks, my two older brothers, 17 and 18 years my seniors, whom as a kid I worshiped and looked up to so much. Of old family friends and aunts and uncles and cousins. All dead. Of Christmases and Thanksgivings long past.
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 aunts, uncles, cousins and friends 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.