This morning I was unloading the dishwasher when it struck me how as I do, I think about how each of the items came into my life. Each mug, dish, utensil has a memory attached to it of some kind. It actually becomes a meditative process for me than makes an insignificant task more meaningful.
There is the coffee mug someone brought to me years ago from Starbuck's in Detroit because we were both from Detroit and they knew I would like it. There's the commemorative mug from the 1994 Barbra Streisand concert in Anaheim with the weird profile with just her eyes and nose. I love the green cat mug even though I really don't have any recollection of how it came to me. For this alone, I love it. There are is the stainless steel flatware from my grandmother, the mixing bowls from my aunt, the everyday cooking utensils I don't even recall buying.
I pull out the three remaining drinking glasses with peach etching that belonged to my aunt and mourn the loss of their three companions. that I broke one by one over the last twenty years. I should replace them. Complete sets are more useful, but these will do. Plus they are augmented by the sturdy bar glasses I have gathered, two as gifts, the others at estate sales or from Cost Plus.
Mixing bowls from my mom or aunt or a gift from a dear friend now gone. Knives of every variety. Bakeware in various shapes that are only occasionally used. Storage dishes with easily secured lids. These are from Costco I believe. Nothing with great memories, but always appreciated from their service in storing leftovers and such.
Yes, for me, unloading the dishwasher is a meditative process. Wistful thoughts about times gone by people either in my life or long gone. Call me sentimental, but that's probably why a lot of this stuff hasn't ended up at an estate sale or Goodwill. I just look at them and feel a spark of joy or comfort.