The joys of humble service have been a part of my life ever since my first detail attending to the outside pit toilets at summer camp. Talk about mundanity, but at the other end of the food cycle, I quite enjoy a spot of washing-up, or doing the dishes as folks might say on the other side of the Atlantic.
I don’t mind working with a commercial dishwasher, which manages to complete its cycle within a few minutes. But for anything else on the more domestic front I’m much more comfortable working my way through the stacks of dirty dishes in the sink, than I am stacking a dishwasher, waiting for its hour cycle, and removing them. A domestic dishwasher just seems like twice the work, somehow, twice the handling, and I’d sooner just get it done and over with by hand.
Having said that, one of the big compromises we finally agreed on, in our married life, was that after the evening meal, if the dirties were stacked carefully to one side, and we could recess into the living room where they might be out of sight and out of mind, then I could without any kibbitzing or complaints get to them right after breakfast the next day. Not many partners would put up with this scenario, I know, but in fairness I do manage to take care of things in our tiny bungalow where the sensibility of dirty dishes would permeate the whole living space. No, that wouldn’t do, so I get them all sorted right after dinner is finished. We accomplish the same dirty dish management in Harry Hymer too, when we’re on the road, so that everything is neat and tidy to awaken to, in that space-restricted motorhome life.
Today my joy came later than usual, as I hoped it would, when I was left to my own devices in the kitchen beside the dining room where community lunches are served. I washed the dirties as they slowly trickled in, so that by the time the last diner was finished, so were the dishes. It was all very very easy, but still some sort of a service for all of that.
On a rainy afternoon, with the lunch club all served for another week, we’re delighted to have served other folks, and to be resting comfortably back beside our little fire.