Rosanna Bauman – Plain Kansas: Dishwater Hands

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Dishwater Hands

We just got done with another chicken dressing. This time we did 450 chickens 30 ducks, and 15 turkeys. Surprisingly, dressing can be a wet job. It is technically wetter than it is messy. We use lots of water to help keep stuff clean and sanitary. Everyone dons floor-length aprons and rubber boots on processing day. That means that at the end of my twelve hour day, I have a serious case of “dishwater hands.” You know, when your fingers shrivel up and look like pink prunes? When we were younger and got to hang out in the bathtub too long, we’d giggle and say we had “grandma hands.” A day of chicken dressing not only gives me “dishwasher hands”, but also affects my feet because I wear Crocs. Boots are the classic foot covering for most folks, but I am not a boot-wearing person.

I have an odd fascination for random ideas and thoughts such as: “Why does bright sunlight make you sneeze?” Or “Why don’t I, as a big water drinker, become thirsty on Dressing Day?” Typically, I am a big water drinker. On a normal day I easily consume my eight glasses of water, sometimes before 10 am. In fact, I have a reputation for being a water guzzler. Some of my friends theorize the reason for my constant thirst is because my tongue is flapping so much it gets dehydrated! But on dressing day, I don’t get very thirsty. I am apparently  too focused on dressing chickens  to pay attention to my thirst, as I usually only drink eight ounces in a eight hour time frame when I am processing. A teacher friend of mine suggested that my reduced thirst may be a result of osmosis. Most of us are familiar with reverse osmosis as it is used in many water filter systems. Reverse osmosis works when high density water is slowly forced through low density charcoal. Osmosis is simply the movement of liquids from a higher density to an area with lower through a permeable barrier. In other words, since my hands, and especially my feet were in water for such an extended period of time, my appendages may have pulled in enough water that my body wasn’t registering its usual thirst signals. It’s a fascinating thought, but it may not be scientifically correct.

I am not real sure just how long wrinkled hands have been associated with dishwashing. I don’t think that the dishwasher’s hands of old were that wrinkled. When I was in Missouri the other weekend, we got on the subject of dishwater. We have a church district over there that held a communion service. Our communion services are two-day affairs and four meals are provided in the church basement for those attending. Naturally, that means a lot of dishes to wash. It doesn’t take that long though, when everyone pitches in. Typically, tables are cleaned off, the dishes washed, and the table re-set in twenty minutes. The hot water at this particular church house comes from their wood-fired oven. It heats endless quantities of water to boiling point. They told me an interesting bit of trivia about dishwater. They have found that the last two generations don’t like their dishwashing water nearly as hot as previous generations. Those older housewives, they said, wouldn’t wash dishes in anything less than boiling water. Today’s generation equates “hot” water to the hot water heater’s 95 degree water or even less if they have a dishwasher. Most dishwashers are considered good if their water even reaches to 150 or 170 degrees. And Grandma can wash in 200 degree water! I’ve heard that many of the old housewives had hands that were so tough and chapped from all the exposure to hot water in the washing of their clothes and dishes, that if they straightened their hands out, they would develop painful splits in the skins.

I don’t have particularly beautiful hands myself, but it’s not because I’ve pounded laundry or scrubbed dishes. I have to confess that dishwashing is one of the most depressing things I can think of. In household chores it ranks right up there with the other most-dreaded jobs of folding socks and organizing paperwork. It’s really silly, but washing dishes in water that has bits of food swirling in it is more disgusting to me than gutting a chicken! I don’t know why we each have simple little chores we blow up into dreaded mountains and then procrastinate upon. But it does seem as if it is those “little things” that really are the big things in life. I saw a quote from H. W. Shaw that says it even better: “It is the little bits of things that fret and worry us; we can dodge an elephant, but we can’t a fly.” When the Bible warns us to “Be careful for nothing, but in everything give thanks” it not only sounds like an appropriate warning, but also gives me a practical solution for my Dishwashing Blues: be thankful I have dishes to wash, it’s a sign we have eaten a meal!

 

 

Join Our Newsletter

Join over 7,000 people who get free and fresh content delivered automatically each time we publish.

Sign Up

The Discussion


  1. Crocs make boots that are similar to those seen on horse farms. Tall rubber boots..

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  2. Angie Yoder says:


    My grandmother had a plaque on her kitchen wall that said “God Bless our dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell. While others may go hungry, we’re eating very well.”

    When she passed away my mother gave me that plaque, which now has place of pride in my kitchen. It’s a lovely reminder to be thankful and to see negative things as the true blessings they are!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    • Barb Wright says:


      Hey! So did my grandma!! I think my cousin still has it in her kitchen. I enjoy Rosanna’s writing..keep it up!

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

  3. I don’t have a dishwasher and can say honestly never want one. I can’t say I love doing dishes but it is one of those necessary evils we must do if want clean dishes.
    Love this article and love the last 8 words of the article. As humans we have a tendency to look for the negative in everything and forget the positive. I know I struggle with this ALL of the time.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

  4. Really enjoy reading this new column and learning the difference between the two families! Please keep posting Kevin!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

  5. I have 3 dishwashers. Their names are Kristy, Jesse, and Dan.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

  6. I have a good dishwasher,but generally wash my dishes by hand. I should of been born in your grandmothers time. I love HOT water. My husband says I am not happy in less my skin is bright red. LOL

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  7. Lissa Holder says:


    When I was young we didn’t have a dishwasher. We got one when I was a teenager. I never liked it, especially unloading it! When I moved out I moved to to a house that didn’t have one, still don’t. I like washing dishes. It’s relaxing to me and love the team work (if I get someone to help me). I am Also OGB, NC though. At our communion we do the same and reset the table and its quick. A lot of fun and also team work (0:

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  8. Zelka Cani says:


    I love Rosanna’s humour, please keep her column going, it is an interesting and entertaining read.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

  9. I enjoyed her column. She has a good sense of humor and an interesting perspective on things. Please keep her column going!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

  10. No dishwasher here and cramped kitchen, but like it was said, we had food to eat, which is a blessing.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Speak Your Mind

*


eight + = 11

CommentLuv badge

css.php