“I’m trying to dry the whole bowl.” I smiled as Mom awkwardly held the pink plastic bowl with one hand, drying with the other. All the while she sat perched on the chair built into her walker.
Jan wore purple gloves and washed. Mom dried. I floated–putting dishes away, re-drying, wiping counters.
Washing dishes at the farmhouse has become one of my favorite times of the day. It’s a good time to talk and work together.
One time in Florida, my dishwasher broke.
My kids and I stood facing each other in a circle, hands pressed against our cheeks. “What shall we do?”
Then I remembered. Hours of my childhood spent at a sink with others. Laughing, singing, complaining.
A few days later, the repairman came to our Florida home and life as we knew it resumed.
But not at the farmhouse. There is no dishwasher and I’m glad.
The act of doing dishes by hand ushers me back to a simpler way of life.
I thought of that as Tom and I forged a path from the farmhouse to our homesite–right through the woods. Tom cut his way through the dense the forest with a heavy-duty weed-eater. I tossed thorny briars, dead branches, and saplings to the side as we progressed.
Forging a simpler life is like that. Cutting away at the non-essentials in order to see the really important things. Usually, they are people. But sometimes they are things or conveniences that bring us closer to people.
Or closer to our Creator.
My new house comes with a dishwasher. It’s convenient, and I’ll probably use it because then I’ll have more time to spend with the people I love.
But some nights, when someone really wants to talk, maybe we’ll break out the purple gloves and dishtowel and laugh and sing and talk. We might even complain.
Really, it’s simple.
Invest in what or who really counts.