Always the dishes

There are always dishes to be washed at my house.

My sister visited last week and noted that I do more cooking than she does, thereby dirtying more dishes. She added that I needed a dishwasher more than she does. She has one. I don’t.  I don’t want one.

When I’m tired or when I’ve done some baking and created more dirty dishes than our meals create, it would be nice to load a dishwasher rather than the basin that sits beside the sink.

If we have company and there are more dishes than there would normally be when there are only two or three of us, it would be nice to have a dishwasher.

So, why don’t we have a dishwasher, and why don’t I want one?

We’d rather have the drawers that occupy the area where a dishwasher would go.


We had a dishwasher when we moved to this house in 1993. We also only had one drawer. One. We had to use an old cabinet brought up from the basement just so that we could have a bit more storage space. It had two drawers. So now we could have a “cutlery” drawer, a “bread drawer,” and a “junk drawer.” We had cabinets, so we had some storage space, but not enough.

But, we had a dishwasher.

It wasn’t the best dishwasher, so we weren’t too upset when it broke down about seven years ago and my husband took it out. Well, we weren’t too upset. Our sons might have been because they usually did the dishes. Even when they moved into their own apartment, “the old man” and I didn’t mind not having a dishwasher. We put a shelving unit in the space where the dishwasher had been. We had more storage but no dishwasher. We could live with that.

In fact, we lived with it so well that when we renovated the kitchen five years ago, we opted to NOT put in a dishwasher. Unheard of, I know. We really did want that storage space. Now, instead of three drawers, we have 10. Ten drawers!

Not only do I have drawers for cutlery, and tools and other “junk,” I have drawers for pots and pans,

2014-05-20 17.19.26

one for the flours I use for baking, crackers, and pasta

2014-05-20 17.18.32

one drawer just for my spice jars!

2014-05-20 17.17.54

and all of the things that I used to have to cram into cupboards.

We also got more and larger cabinets than we had before and a pantry that’s much more easily organized.

I’ll admit that it might be nice to have a dishwasher sometimes, but I’ve come to actually enjoy washing or drying dishes, especially if I’m engaged in this with someone else. It gives us a chance to chat. I like putting my hands into warm soapy water if I’m feeling cold, and know that not only will I feel warmer, the dishes are getting clean.

We don’t dry dishes often, and you’ll usually see them stacked up on the drying rack. My husband is especially good at this. He washes the dishes more often than I do.

So dishwashing is a frequent activity in this house, and there are always more dishes to do. They do eventually get put away into all of those drawers and cupboards, which is exactly how I like it.


I have to thank two of my writing students for inspiring this post. On their blogs, they write more about their lives than I usually do about mine. I love their writing, and their joy of living the everyday life. You can’t get more “everyday” than doing the dishes.

So thank you, Grace, with your Buttons Thoughts  on farm life,

and Lillie, with your Notes from Napanee

I encourage all of my readers to hop on over to these blogs and see what’s happening in the lives of these women.



13 thoughts on “Always the dishes

  1. I love your article on “washing and drying dishes” as opposed to having a dishwasher, it is a concept that many people don’t understand. I myself do have a dishwasher, but only after many years of doing the dishes of the six or sometimes seven people living in our home, and growing very tired of this task. Your feelings on this remind me so much of my mother and her feelings about owning a dishwasher, she didn’t want one either, even though my brothers and I often offered to buy her one. Mom always told us that she loved washing and drying her dishes, she said it was her time to think, to plan, to remember….and, she felt that her dishes would not get as clean in a machine. So kudos to you Christine for opting out of this kitchen gadget and doing things the way you want to, and having all those drawers!

    1. Thank you, Wendy. It was more the desire for the storage space than the time doing the dishes that convinced us to not have a dishwasher. I appreciated having one when our sons were younger, and I maybe didn’t have as much time to contemplate life while doing the dishes. Having that time now is definitely a secondary reason against having a dishwasher, but perhaps just as legitimate.

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