All I ever wanted was to know that you were dreaming


I have a passion for home, but I long ago accepted that I have no passion for house cleaning. One of the things I don’t mind doing, especially if I have a window, is washing dishes. This is why I rarely used a dishwasher, even when I had one. Debby and I used to argue over who had to do the dishes–I think that’s a natural teenage sibling thing. I remember those arguments best from the house we lived in just before she was married and moved out. (David and my father rarely did the dishes. Different times…)

After I became the only kid left at home, dishwashing was left mainly to Mother and me. I remember lots of evenings staring out the kitchen window of the last house I lived in with my parents, watching the street, the main road through our little town, and smiling when my friends or boyfriend drove by and blew their horns.

Now both my sister and I are content to be in suds up to our elbows, as my mother always was (she also rarely used a dishwasher other than her kids). I do a lot of thinking at the kitchen sink, and looking at this photo, I realize why my thoughts so often turn to people I care about. Just the items on the shelf over the sink and on the fence seen through the window evoke reminiscences of Tom, Lynne, Lisa S, Timmy, Paul, James, Tim, Jeff, my parents, Debby, Jess, Laura, Lindsey, and Rhonda–and Margot and Guinness. It’s a place of friends and family, as homes should be.

Last year during this time, Aaron and I were trading texts about his coming to stay here a few days during spring break. Tom and I were so happy he wanted to spend time with us, Tim, and the dogs, and I wouldn’t trade those days for anything.

So many memories…

Today is Riley’s birthday. How I’d love to call him and wish him a happy one. He’s another of the people I think about and miss deeply. The year 1980 was one of the most significant in our long history of friendship. I can remember the house I was living in then, and all the time he spent there, and how Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” LP stayed on my turntable almost constantly. There are so many pieces of Stevie Nicks’s “Sara” that tell a story of Riley and me. I’m sure lots of people feel the same way about the song for many different reasons–true of all the best songs, I think.

For Riley…

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6 Responses to All I ever wanted was to know that you were dreaming

  1. ga says:

    We use our dishwasher as a dish drainer, and David does most of the sudsing. Such a good hausfrau.

    • Becky says:

      See, karma gets you in the end! He’s making up for all those dishes he didn’t wash in the early years.

  2. cdw says:

    i believe my domestic efforts are being short-changed here. i do more than just “sudsing”. i wash, rinse, then place dishes into the dishwasher (that, is those that i don’t towel dry and return to their appointed places. large pans, for example). admittedly it was the person who goes by ga who pioneered this technique, excepting, perhaps, both the hand-drying, and the ventilation components — living here in a land of minimal humidity, leaving the door cracked just the slightest bit allows most moisture to evaporate quickly. that which does drain into the bottom of the contrivance, doesn’t become at all malodorous so long as one has dinner guests every couple of weeks and uses the machine in the manner for which it was originally designed. after years of trying to balance dishes on little side-sink racks, this labor saving method has proven a boon, both as regards time and effort. i do trust that this will set the record straight for your teeming readers, who may have been a bit perplexed at the truncated initial report.

    • Becky says:

      While your current efforts and accomplishments command the respect of myself and no doubt those teeming readers, I think all these bubbles and sparkly dishes are an attempt to distract us from a poignant truth: Debby and I were getting dishpan hands while you were out in the Dodge Dart racing trains.

  3. Robert Edler says:

    I have never used a dishwasher — not even Mlle. Renee and her slimy tongue. And while I always procrastinate when it comes to doing the dishes, I often find myself reliving memories of things in my past. Thank you for sharing yours.

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