The counter is piled high with bits and pieces of meals that my family has eaten. Stubbornly those bits and pieces cling to the plates, cups, and pans. I HATE washing dishes. I've had plenty of experience. When I was in my teens my brother and sister married within six months of each other. Soon Sunday dinner became my parents and I, them and their spouses, and then one nephew, two nephews, and so on until the full compliment was eight children for my sister, and seven children for my brother. How is your math doing? That is twenty-two human beings sitting down at one table. Twenty-two plates, twenty-two forks, knives, and spoons, and twenty-two glasses or cups.
Inevitably, the adults would finish the meal, gather their progeny, and depart to go home for a nap before church. My parents would also need a nap. We DID have an automatic dishwasher...ME! I would scrub the sink clean, then fill it with hot soapy water. It took about two hours to wash them all, dry them, and put them away.
Then my parents and I managed a motel with kitchenette units. That meant that each time we rented a kitchenette we had to wash all the dishes and utensils and glasses when they checked out. We had to wash them in clorox (it just ate my skin), then dish detergent (more skin eating) then last but certainly not least, we had to boil them in the hottest water we could create.
Summers were the worst. We had air conditioning in our unit but it didn't seem to be able to keep up to 110 degree heat AND dish washing, sometimes all day long. My Father worked at a warehouse for a retail chain during the day. One day Mother called him at work. She told him succintly to either bring home a dishwasher or not come home. The dishwasher came home that night. That was much better...but it did not load or unload itself. This was in the 1980's and you basically had to wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher to sterilize them. Better than handwashing only, but still a chore.
Then came marriage, children, and many, Many, MANY more dishes. I would have no problem using paper plates if I did not realize what using them does to our environment, via our landfills. It would also help if my hands did not crack, bleed, and then throb with each beat of my heart.
I can't use latex gloves, they worsen the situation. I have a beautiful view out of the window while I wash the dishes. It's always a good feeling when they are done, and organization and cleanliness is restored, until the minute that we are hungry again, and create more dirty dishes.
One of my Papa's cousins grew up in a two room cabin with six siblings. They had to haul water in a bucket from 1/4 mile away. After hauling the heavy water, they had to heat the water on the stove. Then they would pour it over the dirty dishes, and add soap flakes. She LOVED to wash the dishes. She said, "It's so easy. You just turn on the faucet, and VOILA, all the hot water you could possibly want is right there at your disposal.
One of my dear Grandma's would tell me that she couldn't go to sleep if there were dirty dishes in her sink. She had ten children so there were always dishes to wash.
Sigh...I guess I've talked about it enough. Now I must go and face them! At least they'll be ready to use tonight when we eat whatever we eat tonight!