Dirty dishes evidence we have plenty

Published 2:00 am Saturday, June 30, 2018

When my granddaughter posted a picture on Facebook to demonstrate how clever she was to stack so many dishes on a dryer rack, I was quick to comment that her mother was still champion in that field. Later it occurred to me that I should have given her creation a title taken from a poem on a little plaque that has hung above my kitchen sink for an untold number of years.

The poem reads “Thank God for dirty dishes, for they have a tale to tell. While others may go hungry, we’re still eating well. With health, home and happiness, we surely shouldn’t fuss, for by the stack of evidence, God’s been very good to us.” Now when I look up at that poem and come to “stack of evidence”, I have to smile, because those words should be the title of her creation.

As a teen, I dried dishes when my mother washed. She jokingly accused me of making an arrangement with a couple of my girlfriends to call when we were busy with the dishes. It was a perfect respite for me. I do believe that Mother knew how to make the largest “stack of evidence” there was. In my eyes, she pulled out every pot and pan in her kitchen to cook a meal. I resolved all those years ago when I had my own kitchen, I was not going to do that.

I was wrong.

Without even launching into a major cooking project, I manage to cover my kitchen cabinets with dirty pots and pans in record time. Even if all it takes is pulling several leftovers from the refrigerator and dropping a bag of frozen peas in my ancient, but oh so efficient pressure cooker, I make a big mess. It is the same with desserts. When I make a cake, the mixing bowl and utensils turn into a major dishwashing job.

Mother lived with us almost 15 years. She always helped with the dishes. Upon entering the kitchen early, she sometimes remarked tongue in cheek, “Are we having company?” and pulled on rubber gloves to help tackle my mess. I always answered, “I got it from you,” as she began piling everything in the sink.

I know my daughter must have told herself before she left home that she would never use as many dishes and pots and pans as I do. She grumbled and washed and piled everything precariously high in the dish drainer. That skyscraper drainer became a family joke. Aha! One day I found proof in her kitchen that she follows in my footsteps. Things were reaching record high in her drainer.

The “stack of evidence” was right in front of me. I know God has blessed her kitchen, too. Despite herself, she carries on the family tradition. And from that “stack of evidence” on Facebook, my precious granddaughter is well on her way to following in our footsteps and claiming the title of champion stacker.


Nina Keenam is a former newspaper reporter.