I remember one particular Saturday when my sister returned from spending the night with her best friend, Leah Robinson.
"Did you know that the Robinsons clean their kitchen after every single meal?" she said.
"What? They, like, do the dishes three times a day?" She had piqued my interest.
"Not only that, but they put every dish away in the cupboard and actually clean everything in the kitchen every time! They even sweep and sometimes mop."
I couldn’t imagine why anyone would ever clean a kitchen if she didn’t have to, let alone choose to do it two or three times a day. It seemed so impractical.
Of course, we did the dishes. Almost every day. Each of us kids was assigned dish duty for a week; so when the sink was full, or we ran out of clean drinking glasses, the designated washer got to work. If we were really lucky, Momma would burn something to the bottom of a pan. That way we could leave it soaking at the back of the stove, maybe for days. Maybe long enough until it was the next kid's turn. If the pans weren't dirty enough to soak, George would sometimes hide them under his bed until it was Clark's turn. Then Clark had the option to either wash them or to leave them soaking until my turn the next week. When, or if, the pans got washed was a crap shoot. But, all bets were off if our mom needed them for cooking. Eventually one of us would have to do it. Once washed, the dishes rarely made it back into the cupboard. With the balance and skill of circus professionals, we could stack a mountain of plates, cups, glasses, pans and lids to air-dry in a single ordinary dish drainer.
As for the rest of it, RoxAnne and I had kitchen duty every Saturday. We cleaned the kitchen once a week whether it needed it or not. It needed it.