My Dad owned his own Plumbing & Heating business, built out of the garage and home provided by Great Aunt Gerty in exchange for the care given to her by my parents. Great Aunt Gerty was my Mom’s mother’s sister. She never married but raised chickens and was a seamstress. From all evidence, she was a diligent worker and I still have a pin cushion she made with red velvet and dried coffee grindings.
My Ma was very supportive of my Dad and his work and took on the awesome responsibility of raising the eleven of us while he was repairing furnaces on cold, winter nights. When he would arrive home, she would have a hot meal waiting for him.
We always seemed to be the last customer on the list to have our furnace repaired, so said my Ma. However, when my Dad had any new appliance to test, we were usually the first on the agenda, with my Mother never too keen on the new fangled thing!
My Dad’s initial attempt at providing us with an introduction to the modern age was his offering of a garbage disposal unit. (I do not think that Dad was too sold on the idea, himself!) Actually, it was at the bidding of my oldest brother, Ronnie. The care-free, easy does it, garbage disposal unit had just arrived on the seller’s market and Ronnie wanted to test it out in Ma’s kitchen.
No doubt controlling what went into the unit, and what didn’t, or shouldn’t, created another hurdle when Ma had so many small feet circling around her! Perhaps the grinding feature led to my younger brother, Billy, testing out its power on the toothbrush! and a popsicle stick! and last, but not least, the silver fork!
She did put up with it for several weeks, including almost daily repairs, and then one day—it unceremoniously disappeared!
No more was spoken about it.
A year passed and the automatic dishwasher arrived in my Dad’s shop!
Of course, we five girls were ecstatic! Can you imagine how much silverware we had to wash and dry each day?
However, the dishwasher never made it through the doorway’s entrance. It never even got to first base! My Ma planted her foot down immediately and permanently on the kitchen floor and spoke with clarity and firmness: “I have five daughters! I do not need or want a dishwasher!”
And, so it was…Response to the question of the day: I have three daughters and NO dishwasher!