Inconvenience: Another word for classroom
“I have bad and good news,” my husband informed me one day when I returned from an exercise class. “The bad news is the dishwasher just quit.”
“What’s the good news?” I asked.
Keith continued, “I think it’s just a matter of a small part that we can replace, and I can fix it, maybe. But it will take at least a week to get the part in.”
I sighed. This is a first world problem and really no more than a minor one at that. Still, I am now and always have been grateful for my Mr. Fix-It mate. So, I resigned myself to the fact that a week of dish washing, by hand, was not a horrible fate and joined Keith in waiting for the part that might be the cure for the ailing dishwasher, maybe.
“I have bad news and good news,” Keith told me a week later. “The good news is the part arrived two days earlier than expected. The bad news is it didn’t fix the issue. I guess we have to buy a new dishwasher. But there are a lot of appliance stores here and it won’t be a problem, maybe. We’ll have to start looking.”
Each place Keith looked online or in the stores, he found that the dishwasher we wanted was not in stock and had to be ordered. The best we could hope for was a six-week delivery date, maybe.
Then I remembered we had made another purchase from a small appliance store here in our town, and we decided to go and see what they had available. Eureka!! They had just the right one for us in their warehouse. They estimated a delivery date within a week, maybe. We purchased the appliance, waited and washed dishes by hand for another week.
Because there are just the two of us at most meals in the Padgett household, we let the dishes pile up throughout the day and then washed them together at night. It was in this simple (what many now consider primitive) daily chore, we found a lovely blessing.
In the evening, in our small kitchen, by a large window looking out into our yard, we actually had time to look (and really see) spring delights popping up all around us. For me, the evening hours have always afforded times of peace and reflection – an escape from the daily rush of activities.
One week turned into two and then three. Each evening we moved around our small kitchen, washing and drying dishes. Many times we were in silence, many times in light conversation. We enjoyed the hummingbirds’ exquisite choreography in the twilight hours. We moved around each other in response to the peaceful rhythms of day’s end. Each lazy sunset brought more intense greenery and small, early spring flowers into view.
We still had a couple of delays peppered with apologies and promises of, “Tomorrow, maybe.” But we chose not to tumble into the trap of urgency that informs us we must always be moving on to the next task. We just kept washing and drying dishes, watching, breathing and enjoying the moments.
When the dishwasher finally arrived, the young delivery man explained that with all the building going on in our community, their products and services were in high demand. After he installed the appliance, checked to make sure it worked and handed us the paperwork for our purchase, he smiled and said, “Well, I’ll bet you’ll be excited to use your new dishwasher. No more washing dishes by hand, huh?”
As he pulled out of the driveway, I reflected on his last words. Then I remembered the peace and harmony in our new evening ritual and muttered to myself, “Well, maybe.”
Copyright May 2023, Laura L. Padgett, Montrose, CO