Big families bring big messes especially when it comes to the dishes. The Smithton family had just purchased their first dishwasher six months ago. For years, because of their financial difficulties they washed their dishes by hand. The time consuming task usually took a half of an hour to an hour. There are a lot of dishes to wash when you have 14 kids. After dinner the kids would rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher.
One night when Betsy helped clean up after dinner, she asked, "Mom, do you remember when we used to dishes by hand?"
Mom laughed as she put soap in the dishwasher, "Do I ever."
Betsy picked up the milk and put in in the refrigerator. "Do you remember the fun we used to have?"
Mom started the dishwasher, "Yeah, we tried to make doing dishes fun so it wouldn’t be a drudgery."
"There was that time when you had a water fight with Abby."
Mom smiled as she remembered that day. "I don’t know who ended wetter."
Betsy giggled, "You had your head turned down when you were scraping the frying pan and she took a cup and flicked water on you."
"Most of the time we told funny stories to pass the time. Do you remember the story about the lady who dressed like Dracula at a blood drive?"
Betsy started to laugh, "Her...her costume looked so funny."
Her mom started to laugh so hard that she was breathless, "I will never forget that story."
"We used to sing songs a favorite was row row row the boat."
Mom gave this big smile, "I never forgot that song."
Betsy's eyes sparkled as she recalled the good old days, "Those days we so much fun even though it took an hour to do. I like having a dishwasher. I miss those days, it seems our family has lost the closeness we used to have."
Mom wiped down the stove, "I miss those days too. Although it's hard to do dishes for 14 kids every night. I have more time to do other things that need to get done like laundry. We had to get the dishwasher."
"Yeah, I know Mom, but I still miss those days.
Could we do the dishes by hand once a week to give us more family time?"
"Betsy I would love to, but it takes so long to do dishes. Maybe me and your dad will talk about it; maybe there is something else we can do okay."
Betsy sighed, "Okay."
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