Thirty five years ago I volunteered to help clean the church kitchen. Some very nice, friendly ladies from church asked if I would like to help them “houseclean” the church, a virtuous task they perform yearly.  By the time they have finished the place literally shines and everyone  feels pride  except those church ladies who know all about pride going before the fall.

I took along my two small sons, ages 3 and 5. Where else can you take boys that age and still be welcome?

While we were working on the oven of the big old black kitchen range my five year old observed,  “This oven is lots cleaner than ours at home.”

That settled it. I did not volunteer my cleaning services again. Obviously I had work to do at home!  It seemed improvident to be cleaning another kitchen when my own needed it so badly!

But somehow today I got volunteered into helping clean the church kitchen again.  It was impossible to avoid since the kitchen chairperson, a member of our 8:00 o’clock Bible class, cleverly scheduled the cleanup to begin immediately following Bible class!  After all if you pray together and stay together there is surely no way to avoid cleaning together!

This time I knew better than to attempt to clean the oven. I eyed my options and voted against cleaning  drawers of silverware, the microwave, and refrigerators. Instead I opted to use the new dishwasher and do all the dishes, plates, saucers, cups, bowls and all other washable objects.  An entire kitchen full of shining, lustrous dishes would make every church ladies heart beat with joy.

Operating the dishwasher is a task for which there is no competition since most of the ladies refuse to have anything to do with a  machine that washes dishes!  Their reasons vary from “I don’t know how to run one of them things, and I don’t intend to learn now”  to  “You have to scrape and rinse the dishes so why not just wash them the old fashioned way like we always did?”

It’s true there were no challengers for the position as dishwasher, but I did have help–one woman insisted on drying the dishes. My explanation that drying the dishes wasn’t necessary fell on deaf ears even after it was pointed out that at a temperature of 180 degrees any water clinging to the dishes, when taken from the machine, would evaporate in a matter of seconds.  I might have also pointed out that lint from dish towels probably makes the dishes less sterile than they are when they come out of their hot steam bath.

 I have come to the conclusion that there is something about doing dishes, and particularly drying dishes, is peculiarly satisfying to women!
But it all fairness I must admit that the hot steam  played havoc with my hairdo. But at least there wasn’t any five year old telling everyone what my kitchen at home looked like!