dirty-dishes-sink-home-mess-590jn121610When an appliance breaks in our home, I go through at least five stages in dealing with the situation. First, I fantasize and hope that the clanging noise, gummy splotches on the dishes, or the “service needed” light will go away. Then I avoid calling for repairs because they may be too expensive, or will result in buying a new appliance. Avoidance goes on for a few days or weeks until I surrender and call the repairman. Surrender is quickly followed by relief, or sticker shock, or a trip to a box store, or all three. tmobile site down . Finally, I arrive at gratitude that we’ve landed back on the normal square of our game of life, however poorer we may be. The last time a major appliance died in our house, it took several weeks to move from fantasy to gratitude. What I discovered was the gift of the broken dishwasher.

We washed our dishes by hand. I hear your groaning, but it really was kind of nice. Every evening, my family worked side by side, scrubbing, rinsing, and drying the dishes. We bumped rears from time to time, and we laughed while we continued our dinner conversation. I loved the feel of the warm water, and seeing the glassware emerge gleaming and bright. Some nights, my family wasn’t around, and I sank into the quiet. I tended my household and had time to myself. My days usually sacrifice the latter in favor of the former. Standing at the sink, I could do both.

Modern appliances were supposed to increase our leisure time. It seems they’ve sped things up, with computers as their accomplices. Instead of free time to relax, we rush on to the next event or meeting or practice. When our dishwasher broke, I secretly longed for the days before these conveniences, and things moved just a bit more slowly. My reverie didn’t last forever; a new machine replaced the old, and our lives accelerated. I’m grateful for its service, but I still like the bubbles on my hands.