Sunday, May 18, 2008

Doing dishes from years before.

First off, I'd like to apologize. Apologize for two reasons. First, because what follows is a "rerun" of something I've posted here before over two years ago back in February of 2006. Secondly, because it's my Mother's Day post and it's a week late.

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.)


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 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.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom -- belatedly (again)!



eProf2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eProf2 said...

We have a rule in our coupledom: Who ever cooks the other one does the dishes. I'm responsible for getting the dishes clean and back in the cabinets ALL the time. But, I have a dishwasher. Laughing out loud for sure!

My parents, too, weathered the depression and taught my sister, brother, and me the value of food, money, and personal possessions, of which they didn't have very many.

Thanks for the belated Mother's Day wish -- I passed it on to my wife who is looking through her many, many cookbooks to see what's for dinner tomorrow.

Sorry about the deletion above but I wasn't saying exactly what I wanted to say the first time.

enigma4ever said...

really wonderful post....I remember the first time you wrote it...

Border Explorer said...

No need to apologize for reviewing your "greatest hits." I intend to start mining the Dally archives this summer to discover other wonderful posts--like this one--that were published before I found you.

D.K. Raed said...

I remember & loved this post! But I have to say you are NOT losing originality or sincerity or becoming stagnant/stale. You may be a snarky bastard, but that's a good thing, right? If you feel a certain repetition of themes, well, it's simply the ongoing neverending BS we are encountering. If we don't talk through the BS, it will pile up to unsurmountable size.

Now, just for fun, and no obligation, I tagged you for a blog meme. I know, I know, but just stop by & read my responses. I had fun with it. You don't have to do anything.

dada said...

Thanks all, for the kind words and encouragement.

You know (and this is mostly addressing DK trying so nicely to reassure me this endless BS is something that warrants continuous purging), I am sometimes prone to introspection: "Am I as tediously tiresome in real life as I am in bloggerville?"

We still have friends, get invited to share time with them...maybe I'm different in real world vs. virtual world. Or it's a tedium friends are willing to endure in order to share time with Mrs. Dada, my better half?)

Could it be, Dada's is the worst of me?

Well, on the chance that's so, let me just thank all who keep returning. Y'all must be a little snarky too, huh? (grin)

DK - thanks for the tag! (I think.)

eProf2 said...

I just double dared you, too.

D.K. Raed said...

Dada, you gotta read EProf's today, he has quite a resume! hmmm, maybe we should tag Mrs. D?

We are snarky, we are golden, we were filled with the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden .... (cue Joni Mitchell to finish this song)