Monday, August 6, 2012

I don't have a dishwasher

I do not have a dishwasher.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I do not have a dishwasher.

I wish that I could say that our home became powered by hand washing on purpose.  But in reality we live in an old home.  The dishwasher came with the house and the whirlpool had a good long life and then it retired. 

Instead of replacing it I started washing dishes by hand.  It has now been several years since we have had a working dishwasher and I can honestly say that I don't really miss it all that much. 

Don't get me wrong there are some days that I feel like I am doing a ton of dishes.  My sons actually got me a very cute scrubber for Christmas this year.  My husband took them to this beautiful spice and kitchen store downtown and let them pick out a gift for me and a scrubber is what they chose. When I asked them why, my five year old told me he knew I would love it because doing dishes is my favorite thing to do.

Lots of people have emphatically told me that they could not live with out their dishwasher.  Yet surprisingly I have found that for several reasons I actually prefer not having one.

1.  My dishes don't pile up in the sink nearly as much.
Now I know that this doesn't make logical sense, but it is true.  When we had a dishwasher I would fill it up and run it.  If more dishes in cured while it was running or still full of clean dishes then the dirty dishes would pile up in the sink because I wanted to wait until the dishwasher was empty again.

Now that there is no dishwasher to wait for I simply wash the few dishes that we make at each meal.  For the most part my sink has far fewer dishes in it than before.

2. It gives me time during the day to think.
So often in our busy lives we have little to no empty time just to think.  Scrubbing plates and cereal bowls doesn't require my full mental capacities so doing a few dishes after each meal gives me some regular intervals of time to reflect. I have surprised myself with some of the ideas or feelings that I have discovered with my hands full of suds.

Often it seems that we try to make things more efficient so that we are able to get more accomplished.  Yet, what if the time that it takes to do something slowly, such as washing dishes or baking bread, is of greater benefit to us than rushing to the next task. Cramming in as much as possible.

3. It continually reminds me of the beauty of a simple, slow paced life.
Each time I pause to wash up the dishes it is a picture for me of the life of simplicity that our family is striving to build.  Washing, rinsing, clean white dishes again.

I am not saying that dishwashers are evil.  I am not saying that we will never have a dishwasher again.  But, for this season, I am enjoying the benefits of a mundane task bringing small glimpses of beauty into my world.


  1. I remember Grandma Korte telling me that her mother loved washing the dishes. I wonder if it was for your reason #2. Her life was so busy with eleven children, it probably was just as you say, a time to feel the warm, sudsy water on her hands, look out the window, and just think.

    1. Wow! Eleven children! Yes, you are probably right, I am sure she savored any moment she could find for reflection. What a neat thing to know about our heritage. Thanks for sharing that with me.

  2. Phew, now I can stop feeling guilty about not doing any dishes the entire week we were at the farm! I'm glad to hear you enjoy it so much:)

    1. You are too funny Kate! What a wonderful time we had at the farm! So glad we got to spend it with you guys!

  3. You are building such wonderful family memories Anne. The slow pace life you and Eric have intentionally chosen for your family is a blessing for us to witness. To stop in and see you all in the kitchen working together, whether you are baking a cake or bread, or washing dishes, is beautiful.
    It warms my heart to see you covered in flour and to have two little boys running circles around your legs.
    Truly a beautiful life.

    1. Thank you! We feel so blessed to have these times as a family. It may be a little, ok maybe a lot, loud and messy, but I wouldn't trade it!