blog description

Old women talk about old things: history, myth, magic and their
checkered pasts, about what changes and what does not.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Today, I was in the kitchen hand-washing a few dishes. Hot water came from the tap and a nice container of blue Dawn (c) sat by the sink. As I washed, I felt slightly put out. Always some darn mess in the kitchen to clear up! If you cook at home, you clean-up at home, and as we are mostly stay-at-home eaters, that's the reality with which we live.

The water was hot, the sponge was clean--I've got a thing about changing sponges every day or so. The task was not really unpleasant. I'd already wiped away the grease from a frying pan with a paper towel and dropped that into the trash.

I've an old eco-habit of turning the water off and then turning it back on again as I repeat the cycle of wash and rinse. I reached to close the faucet with one hand, and with the other, laid the clean pot in the dish rack.

As I did this, I abruptly realized how lucky I am that this clean--potable, actually--water just comes out of my faucet simply because I turn the handle.  I can even ask that it arrive ready heated for cleaning purposes. If I drink from the cold tap, it won't taste that great and probably isn't, long term, that good for me, but even without filtering, it's not going to give me cholera or dysentery. I actually live in one of the privileged places on this planet, this despite the fact that in my wealthy town, I'm po ' folks.

I turned over in my mind scenes of women and girls daily trudging hot, dusty miles while lugging heavy pots of water simply to supply a bare minimum basic needs, then thanked my stars  that I was washing dishes in a fine stainless steel sink of a functional height with plenty of running hot water.  And although I've been washing up since I was a kid--in this life, it appears that is a an unvarying part of my destiny--for the first time, I felt a real change of heart, an attitude adjustment at a root level. From now on, I'll remind myself to feel gratitude while I wash those dishes.

~Juliet Waldron

Historical Novels with setting that stretch from the 15th to the 19th Century


  1. A most excellent post . And everytime I watch the news from the middle east I wonder what I did to be born into my woman's life of being able to turn on my faucet and get water.
    Thanks Juliet for this commentary on Gratitude.

  2. With your lovely words you capture a gratitude I have been aware of since a visit to Haiti back in the late 90's. The privilege we enjoy every day to turn on a tap for cold or hot water, fresh and safe, is something we take for granted.
    Thank you for reminding me again

  3. What a fabulous post. So simple and yet so meaningful. I too, am grateful for a clean bed and clean water, having seen other places where such basic things are not abundant.

  4. Thanks to everyone! Yes, it seems basic, but so many people do have access to these things.