Friday, June 29, 2012

"A WORLD OF SUDS," by Gloria Hannigan

Sometimes we need a simple solution to solving the world’s problems. We often refer to Gloria as our “resident Erma Bombeck.” This piece is a gentle reflection on the value of a routine task. Enjoy. ~ Bonnie

This morning I stood with my hands in hot soapy water, washing dishes, gazing out the window, solving the problems of the world. I tried to sum up the number of times I've washed dishes in my lifetime. I started with the years my sister and I argued over whose turn it was to wash or dry.

This was not a very peaceful time, but we did interact with each other. Then I had to subtract the dishes my children did while growing up in our home. This probably puts me in the hole, as they were doing dishes for a family of eight at a time when I was cooking full meals every day. This is probably why they all have shiny chrome dishwashers in their kitchens today.

I add in my solitary years when all the children have moved on and I once again had custody of the Palmolive. I soon decide all these calculations are getting me nowhere so I return to solving the problems of the world.

My plan for world peace is to have the leaders of every country take a twenty minute break in the middle of the day and immerse their hands in hot soapy water and let their problems rest.

I worry that my granddaughter is missing all this. I watch her load and unload the dishwasher and wish I could put her hands in warm soapy water so she could feel the power of solving the world's problems. I am afraid that putting her hands in water might short out the headset that is permanently attached to her head. The fear of sparks flying from her braces and damaging her teeth forever, keeps me from even suggesting she try it.

Dishwashers are prevalent now. Those colorful dishwashing soaps are being crowded off the shelves at the super market by dishwasher detergents and rinses, cleaning sprays and kitchen wipes. We are gaining more sanitary kitchens but losing those precious moments of peace. Soon the day will "Dawn" without "Joy".


  1. This reflection is also filled with Gloria-sense-of-humor. I remember Joy, is it still around? You could sing an "Ode to Joy" while washing dishes. If it "Dawns" on you that is. It seems everything is too fast now. You help me to see how important it is to just reflect. Thanks, Gloria for making me smile.

  2. Gloria, I loved your thoughts while washing dishes. I remember those dish washing days before the dish washer arrived at my house. In fact your story has sparked memories for a story of the days I washed dishes You know how much I enjoy your writing, you're one of my favorites. Please write more stories for us, we all love you.

  3. Received from a guest - :)

    What a terrific piece! Both witty and touching.

    Nancy O'Connor

  4. From Ginger ~

    Love your stories, Gloria!

  5. Dear Gloria, I love your stories that are always filled with 'Simple Abundance.' The only dishwashser I have is at the end of my I will pay more attention to what I'm thinking on when I wash my dishes from now on.
    Thank you for causing me to think on things on purpose. Love, Y.A.