BY VALERIE BELDEN WILDER I Columbia County, NY I
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
What a mess! But I think it actually looks kind of cool with the partial color filter on Black Beauty, my camera.
Yesterday I was faced with a mountain of dishes. I’ve never had so many dirty dishes piled up at Valoftten, my little upstairs place with the red kitchen and the views out to all four directions.
Why, you ask? Well, pretty sure it has something to do with the fact my church bag weighs 17 pounds: manuals, notebooks, scriptures, Chromebook, it all adds up!
Last Saturday, at my place, I had a leaf-raking work party for the church group and then a Christmas craft activity. In the afternoon, there was more sitting by the campfire, cider and donuts, and then leaf blowing and weed whacking.
A really nice lady named Diana offered to help with the dishes, but I said no thanks, because I wanted to get some more yard work done before it got dark. That day was bitterly cold, too. Our fingers were numb, even in gloves.
But first, after the other ladies left, Diana and I went to the little local ACE Hardware store I love in Chatham, where they have a resident cat, three dogs, and four turtles. We bought mix and gasoline for her equipment, and then that dear soul, a part-time landscaper, she went to town with her heavy equipment. Shades of Rosie the Riveter!
Later on, after she went home and it was just Thing 2 and me, I was worn out after playing hostess all day, so the dishes, although rinsed and stacked, they sat. And sat.
The next day, Sunday, was chock full of church stuff: three hours of services, I taught the lesson in the ladies’ meeting, then visited the nearby rest home to see two church members.
Later that afternoon, I had a choice. Nap or dishes?
Well, you can guess which won out. THE NAP, of course. (I made the right choice.) But by then it was dark, and my kitchen has less than stellar lighting. It has a main overhead light, but no task lights over the sink and stove. I’ve purchased some little red goose neck lamps to use for task lighting. (Hey, they were red metal and only $6 and match my kitchen, so for now I make do.)
Have I mentioned the kitchen at Valoftten, true to the 50s, has no dishwasher? And that’s okay with me, I actually prefer to wash dishes by hand, since I think they get cleaner that way.
Plus, I’d rather have the extra cupboard space than a dishwasher.
In Salt Lake City, my two-butt kitchen, the original home of My Copper Kitchen, it did have a dishwasher. But I didn’t use it. I stored my big collection of pots and pans in there!
As I started in on attacking the mess on Monday morning, I did so cheerfully, remembering a poem I read as a very young teenager, curled up in the recliner in front of the unicorn wood stove.
It goes like this:
Thank God for dirty dishes,
they have a tale to tell,
while other folks go hungry, we’re eating very well.
With home and health and happiness
we shouldn’t want to fuss
For by this stack of evidence, God’s very good to us.
-Dear Abby column
We’ve reached critical mass on the dirty dishes here!
We’ve managed to scorch three pans in the process of cooking…
Finally, Monday morning, things started to get better. The warm soapy Dawn dishwater felt sooo good on my cold and calloused hands.
Here are some of my favorite vintage mugs and short tumblers. The dark brown dripware McCoy and Hull mugs are highly collectible and came from Goodwill in Greenport. The mug stamped “Made in China” is a remnant from my days with Lori at our first apartment in Midvale, Utah. The Japan mug is also a Goodwill find! Score!
And the short geese tumblers, they’re plastic and have been kicking around since I bought them in the late 80s. (The geese motif is a dead giveaway as to when they were purchased, right?) They were up high in the cupboard, all eight of them, still in two original boxes.
They look so pretty, sparkling with ginger ale and clinking with ice cubes at Christmas time, and are especially nice for young kids who might be visiting. Festive, yet absolutely no worries about breakage!
How thankful I feel to have plenty of food and lots of friends, as well as a counter full of dirty dishes, and such a pretty little red kitchen in which to wash them.
As we prepare for upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations with family and friends, let us be truly grateful for all we have…
P.S. Ask to be added to the Facebook group, My Copper Kitchen Celebrations!
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[MORE INFORMATION ON McCOY POTTERY]
[MORE INFORMATION ON HULL POTTERY]
Although I originally read this poem, as a tween, in a book by Daryl Hoole (she’s a homemaking expert based in Salt Lake City), here is the digital reference: