The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: The Unsung Hero

April 5th, 2009 · 7 Comments

I haven’t done an “around the house” Saturday Spot for a while. And last Saturday was the anniversary of Nathaniel Briggs patenting of the washing machine in 1797. I for one am extremely grateful that he made the effort because without our washing machine I would surely die – and it wouldn’t be a slow and graceful death either. But while I know I need our washing machine and I know I absolutely couldn’t live without it we do have, at least one, unsung hero in our house. This is our unsung hero…


For years people told me we needed one of these and for years I thought: “Why?” I kind of like staring into space while I wash dishes – it’s cathartic, its busy work for mothers… Anyway when we redid our kitchen we got one. Apparently these machines are essential to life and the more kids you have the more essential they are.

Now completely out of character for me, I did no research. I just went to the store and got one that wasn’t the most expensive (highly likely to be overpriced) and not the bottom of the range (highly likely to be well, potentially a dud) – that’s it. I didn’t care about features or strengths and weaknesses. I just wanted a machine that would do the job. And it does and it has – very nicely in fact. All I have to do is give it some powder and keep the filter clean, and even I can manage that!

Needless to say this little piece of essential appliance hasn’t even got a name: put your dishes in the ummm, microwave, tumble dryer, ummm whatever that machine is… and in they go…


Meal after meal, day after day, week after week, month after month. This nameless machine churns through dishes. Nearly twice a day everyday. And I was worried my kids wouldn’t have the chance to master the art of washing dishes – that’s a life skill you know!!!


Well Luckily we still have enough dishes left over for them to conquer. And the nameless machine has provided more chores and more opportunities for them to master life skills… packing it, unpacking it, sorting cutlery, packing away cutlery, packing away dishes… hmmmm this machine doesn’t just wash dishes it actually teaches life skills!


So out come the dishes clean and shiny fresh and new…ready for another round. And do we thank it? Nope. We clear it: bottom shelf first so that any cups that have been upturned don’t tip out water on all the potentially dry dishes, top shelf last. And then we just stack it up again and send it on it’s merry swish swish swish.

Really this machine, that is so not regarded in our house, we don’t even call it the dishwasher, deserves a name and from now on we will call it “The Unsung Hero”.

To make it worse we may have more – I am just not aware of them. Who knows how many appliances I have lurking around the place that I just take for granted. From now on I will be on the look-out for them and I will keep an eye-open to see what they get up to!

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Tags: Home Zone · Inside · Saturday Spot

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 karen m. // Apr 6, 2009 at 12:08 am

    My very, very old laundry washing machine is squeaking loudly and unhappily this very moment. (And of course I can be on the computer because it’s doing the wash, not me.) I dread the moment when it decides not to run anymore. Glad to see a (fun and funny) tribute to household helpers–both human and machines!

  • 2 se7en // Apr 6, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Hi K, Thanks for stopping by to comment! I hope your washer eeks out a little longer! Have a great week!

  • 3 tracey // Apr 7, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I don’t know what other heroes you’ve already sung about, but my top picks would be:

    Toilet (WITHOUT a doubt)
    Fridge (I am so thankful I don’t need to keep my food cool in a "cellar")
    Coffee pot (My best friend. I cannot make coffee on a stovetop. I’ve tried. It’s not pretty….)

  • 4 se7en // Apr 7, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Hi T… I know when you think about it the list becomes endless!!! We had to do without our coffee machine for a week while it got repairs and we nearly died… It was a very close call!!! As for toilets, its amazing how I grumble about that one (four boys could do that to a mother!) but without it we would be sunk! Thanks for the great comment!

  • 5 Adventures In Babywearing // Sep 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I don’t want to think about my machines because I dread the day they give up on me!


  • 6 se7en // Sep 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Hi S! I live in stark terror of the washer dying!!! Really life won’t be worth living without it’s daily chug-a-lug… Have a nice day!!!

  • 7 Table for Ten - Part 2: The Hardware... Kitchen Tools We Do and Don't Use... - se7en // Nov 2, 2012 at 1:21 am

    […] The Dishwasher: One of the things that perfect strangers often say to us is that our dishwasher must work extra hard… and it does the job, but to be honest I like washing dishes with my kids… it is usually a one on one opportunity and there is nothing like working alongside somebody to find out where they are at and what is on their heart. Somehow working together opens up opportunities to chat and I for one am always looking for ways to peep into the lives of my kids. […]

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