Several times a day, I stand here in the kitchen and wash dishes while gazing out this window.

I wash a bit more slowly this time of year as I ponder what I’m going to do on the patio come spring. 

For so many years and in so many homes I’ve spent dallying at a kitchen window. 

I’ve dreamed up blog posts in my mind and gardened a bit too as I wash, rinse and repeat. 

I make sure I have a wonderfully scented dish soap (whichever one happens to be on sale at the grocer’s).  It is such a meditative and relaxing task, and I find it enjoyable.

My hands washing dishes and my mind urging little green buds to hurry up and speckle the trees, the sweet heralding of spring.

I don’t like dishwashers. I have one. But I’ve never used it. I’m sure if I had small children around a lot, or people who are sick, I’d be more inclined to use it for health purposes.

I don’t think of it as women’s work. Men who live alone have to wash and tidy up as well. I just think of it as a pleasant chore that gives me the opportunity to let my mind roam and play.

Even better when I have the crock pot going and something is steaming and bubbling inside. My supper of course. 

Then I will make cornbread (just a smidgeon of sugar thrown in) and it would be rising in the Breville as it bubbles and bakes and browns. 

I watch the seasonal shifts in weather and light. Sometimes I’m washing my supper dishes with a darkened window, and that’s when my I blink back at my own reflection.

I probably do waste water (a shame) as I dally here, thinking and washing. But what I don’t waste are all the ideas that culminate during this time of day. 

I figure out just what I’m going to plant in what container. 

And I know the very chair I’m going to put over in that corner to lap up the morning sun while I sip coffee on spring mornings. 

Sometimes I think about the book I will start next. I look forward to getting everything tucked in for the night so I can open my book and lose myself in its pages.

Sometimes I hum and listen to the birds calling to one another. I never tire of listening to them.

Over the years, I’ve grown older of course. My hair has gray solidly sprinkled through it. My fingers that soap the plates and rinse them are stiffening with a bit of arthritis.

Before I know it, I’m finished. The last plate or piece of silverware is clean. The dishes are sparkling wet in the dish drainer, and the suds are oozing down the drain.

I dry my hands on a dish towel I’ve had for many years. One that is soft from being laundered so many times.

Then I’m all done until the next meal. When I start all over again. 

And dream my dreams through that rectangle of light that is, sometimes I think, the very window of my soul.

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” – Albert Einstein
I feel that it is
healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a
mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.
Read more at:
I feel that it is
healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a
mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.
Read more at:

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  1. loved this wonderful post. I, too, am a hand dish washer by choice. I just love submersing my hands in warm/hot soapy water and cleaning my dishes, glassware and silver. Pots and pans not so much fun, but part of the deal. I wish I had a window over my sink. I have small shelf there with seasonal, vintage items and usually a thought or a quote on a sticky note that I like to think about while I wash. Some of your ideas and thoughts have made it to the sticky notes over the sink!!

  2. I love this post, Brenda! I can easily visualize you standing at the sink, lost in all your thoughts. One thing I wish I had in this house is a window over the sink. My sink view is straight through to the TV in the family room. But I'd enjoy dishwashing a lot more if I was staring out into the backyard!

  3. I haven't used a dishwasher ever. and I've had many in the various homes where I've lived. I have never liked them.
    I don't have a window over my sink but I still enjoy doing the dishes.
    I use my dishwasher for storage.
    beautiful writing in this post. like poetry really.

  4. Beautiful post. I am with you and many others, I love washing dishes. I always have. Even as a child I loved to wash dishes. I have a window over my sink and the view is beautiful any day, any hour. I too like to think and dream as I wash and look out the window. Thanks for sharing your talents and your incredible ability to tell a story.

  5. Our dishwasher died and I said, "I'll be darned if I'm going to buy another one." So I'm hand washing and loving every minute of it. What I enjoy most is the feeling of accomplishment that you simply don't get from a dishwasher. And right now I need that feeling, so it's working well and saving money.

    1. I Love this idea! For some reason I like to wash dishes but not dry them. And right now the place I live in is pretty small. The kitchen sink is just one section, not 2 and I don't have room on the counter for a dish drainer. But I do have a dishwasher (that I don't use very often). Using it as a drying rack is Genius – Thanks for the idea!

  6. As a kid I absolutely hated washing dishes but as an adult I, like you, enjoy the moment of hands in warm, sudsy water and I lose myself watching the wind or waves skitter across the bay. It is almost a reprieve for me. Wonderful post, Brenda. xo Diana

  7. I agree with Priscilla – this post made me feel peace, and I could nearly smell the bubbles! No doubt spring will be a lot quicker coming to OK than up here in NY – we got another foot or more of snow yesterday!

  8. Great post Brenda! Kitchen sink windows are a necessity! Most days, like you, I hand wash dishes. My view is a small courtyard area of our side lawn, with round flower bed and bird bath. A large crape myrtle provides beautiful blooms and a wonderful perch for a variety of birds. Hand washing dishes is an opportunity to slow down and appreciate that beauty.

  9. You've been fortunate to discover the joyful, meditative state that can come from giving yourself over to doing a simple task well. And, you've found it bolsters your creativity. I look forward to spring and the posts you'll do about your patio garden. I also do dishes by hand. We don't have a dishwasher at our current home. At other houses, I've had mediocre dishwashers and usually ended up doing dishes by hand then too. Unfortunately, our current sink is not under a window, but faces a wall. Boo. But, there is a window to one side of the kitchen that I can get a glance out of while standing at the sink, thank goodness.

  10. OH How I enjoyed this post…. reminding me of "Myself" … I too like to gaze out the "kitchen window"… thinking.. pondering … so many ideas that come to me while I am washing up a few dishes!! Thank you for sharing ……

  11. Brenda I am a hand dish washer too. I have a great big window that I stare out at. On one end are the mountains, the other end the beach and down the middle the plains with lots of farms. Unlike you I hate washing dishes. After four kids, I have had my fair share.

    I have spend 21 years looking out that window and it is only since picking up a camera that I came to appreciate it. The best time of the morning is when the sun comes up and I get a full performance from the sun and the clouds, who are the co-stars. I have captured so many sunrises and not one is alike. To me that is an experience that cannot be bought.

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