Today's post celebrates "National Housewife's Day"...yes November 3rd is National Housewife's Day.Now in case you think the above picture is common in my household....well, don't hold your breath.
As the holidays approach, so do all the logistics for the occasions. There is shopping, cleaning, preparing the meals, decorating and after all the celebration...clean-up. In most households, (I know there are a few that don't fit this pattern), these magical events are orchestrated by the women of the family. In my male- dominated household, you can probably guess which arena we fall into....well, I fall into.
I love preparing. I love decorating. I love setting too many dishes on the table. I enjoy cooking and all the adventure leading up to preparing the day's menu. I love being creative......................but I don't enjoy the clean-up. There, the counter tops are filled with all those beautiful glasses, silver, chargers, salad plates, dinner plates, coffee cups, dessert plates, serving dishes and cooking utensils waiting for me to attack. I have been known to do them in sessions....one load in the dishwasher (yes, grateful for this wonderful, modern day appliance)...wait...another load...hand-wash, drip-dry..... and then round four into the dishwasher. This will usually eat up the rest of the evening and part of the next day.
Saturday, my mother jumped up from the table and began washing the dishes....(the picture above is us years ago...and again we stood side by side, getting the cleaning done). She had been the guest of honor so I protested. Her reply, "I ate, didn't I?" Then she laughed. She said, "Don't you remember your grandmother never washed dishes? She cooked and we cleaned. She felt if you ate, then you cleaned!" I had to nod because I was one of many grand kids who always made their way to the kitchen after each meal to clean. My grandmother always prepared a great meal for us all to enjoy and we were assigned clean-up duty.
How do you handle clean-up duties? Are they different in your in-law's house or the same? How do you handle them when they are in your home? Do you wait to be asked to help or do you automatically help your hostess?
Even cleaning up can become a wonderful tradition filled with sweet memories. I never remember resenting the time all of us cousins spent in the kitchen....now I am not sure how good of job we did...but we did create memories. I remember watching my Grandmother, Mom and all of my aunts enjoying conversation during meal preparation. I remember the load being shared, therefore, making it easier for the hostess not to be totally worn out. The work of our hands does bring joy and a sense being a part of each holiday memory.
If you don't know what a "housewife" is worth these days...read last year's post... see (housewife).