April's Real Blog

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dishes in the past

Yeah, still flashing back here. Mike sez this:

Formerly little sis. One of the things I miss from the days when Lizzie and I were both at home with mom was the way mom would occasionally bow into pressure and let us help. I remember very well, the first time mom let us help her do the dishes. She said to me, “Michael. I am going to run the water in the sink and when the water gets high enough, you turn off the water.” Of course, I didn’t know what “high enough” meant, but I soon found out. Mom had to let a little of that water out, but there was still plenty left. In fact, I discovered if you drop a dirty dish into the dishwater, the soap suds can achieve a pretty good velocity and distance. After mom noticed how good a job I was doing putting the dirty dishes into the soapy water, she asked me to stop and help Lizzie find something to do.

I opened up two of the cabinet doors by the sink. In one cabinet there were big stainless steel pots and pans and in the other cabinet were containers of cleaners. Well, the choice was obvious. The cleaning containers were much more colourful and attractive to someone Lizzie’s age. Stainless steel can be so dull and gray. I pulled out a nice yellow cleaner and said to Lizzie, “What colour is this Lizzie? It’s yellow. Can you say, ‘yellow’?” Lizzie was too little to notice the colours, but mom wasn’t.

She told Lizzie to play with the stainless steel pots and pans. Then she said to me, “Why don’t you help me by drying the dishes? That way I can keep a closer eye on you.” Mom would wash the dish, rinse the dish, and put it in the dish drainer to the left of the sink. I would stand on a stool and dry the dishes and put the dry ones to the left side of the dish drainer. I dried until I got one towel completely wet. Then I dried until I got another towel completely wet. Then I was out of towels, so I decided to use my shirt and pants instead. I was doing great until mom noticed me using my shirt and pants to dry the dishes. She started shrieking about it, and just about that time Lizzie discovered that if she were to slam together 2 lids of 2 stainless steel pans, it would make a pretty loud noise. Mom jumped at the sound of this, lost her footing on the wet floor, and then crashed her head into a cabinet. It was great fun. Lizzie shrieked and I said, “Again!”

However, mom just laid there with her eyes wide open. It wasn't until later that I learned that this is called “shock”, even though there was no electricity involved. I was having such a good time I said, “Can we do the dishes together again sometime, Ma?”

It was a long time before I ever did dishes again. That’s another of those things that made that first time with mom doing dishes so special.

Michael Patterson
At least it's Friday, foax. MayB we'll have only one more day of flashbackery. But it's hard 2 say. Tho I can say I M glad I wasn't around in those moldy, old days Mike has been telling us abt, eh?


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  • At 10:09 AM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i guess this story xxplainz y ur mom 'bout had a fit wen she came home frum her weddin' plannin' meetin' last nite & found us doin' dishes, or @least me doing dishes. she didn't care if u were doin' them. she looked like she wuz 'bout 2 have a heart attack & she kept clutchin' her head. of course u didn't help much wen ur were pointin' @me & sed, "look, mom! jeremy evn put these dishes up in the right spot!" & then ur mom hadda check all the dishes were put up in the rite places & she adjusted all of them, cuz i didn't put them @the rite rotation. u were havin' a gr8 tyme, but i thot we were gonna hafta call 911 on ur mom ne second.

  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    sorry about all that, jeremy. i don't really get that many chances 2 mess w/mom's head. i have a hard time resisting when i do get a chance. it was awesum of u 2 do the dishes. u r v. v. cute when u do dishes!


  • At 3:13 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, my mom sez i look good with a soap sud beard 2. u rilly like it wen i do housework & of course i rilly like it wen u like it wen i do housework, if u know wut i mean. it’s a lot better’n ur mom freakin’ out, cuz a guy wuz doin’ housework. i think i am definitely off her list of acceptable bf’s 4u.

    neway, r we takin’ care of kidz 2nite, so ur mom & ur sil & ur sis can have anothah meetin’ on gettin’ married, or r we goin’ 2 trickie beldan’s partee w/eva & luis & the othahs?

  • At 3:19 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    trickie belden's party. mike is taking care of the littles 2nite cuz he wants 2 get pts 4 giving dee a "nite off."


  • At 3:28 PM, Blogger howard said…

    april, all right. az much az i like ur niece & nephew & future niece; i wuz kinda lookin' 4ward 2 a nite w/o them 4 a change. i guess ur comin' ovah 2 my place & we're studyin' 4 awhile b4 we go. i don't get this "dress 4 a murder mystery party" thing. wut duz that mean we wear?

  • At 5:44 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    jeremy, i guess when u stopped by howard's place 2 pick up that special cake he made 4 us (thanx 4 looking up vegan cake recipes, howard!), u musta used his 'puter while he was still logged in? neway, i m not sure abt what it means 2 dress 4 a murder mystery. neway, i'm just gonna put on a dress and i'll b over @ yr place in abt 10 mins.


  • At 7:57 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, we got out 2 crabapple farm & there wuz trickie beldan & of course her current bf, gerald delaney-forsythe. i wuz rilly happ 2 get outa the car cuz eva abuya wuz in a foul mood frum rosario, luis guzmán’s gf using her little megafone 2 shout "peace!" the whole way ovah. there were sum othah peeps there 2. lemme c if i can remembah them:

    honey wheeler - she sed her real name wuz madeleine, but peeps call her honey, cuz of her hair colour, which is kinda golden-brown. i told her peeps call me jeremy, but if they called me by my hair colour, it wudn’t be honey, but prolly dung. neway, she lives next door in the big house she called the manor house.

    jim winthrop frayne ii - he wuz adopted by honey’s ‘rents. i told him my name wuz jeremy jones & he kinda gave me an evil look. i asked honey wut the deal wuz & she sed he had an evil step-father named jonesy. i sed peeps with the name jones r usually evil. i wuz jokin’ but honey didn’t take it right. i think she h8s me.

    brian belden trickie’s oldest brother. wunts 2b a doc. i told him that ur dad wuz a dentist & u were plannin’ 2b a vet. he seemed mpressed.

    mart belden - trickie's older brother 11 months. looks like trickie, xxcept a boy. so there’s sum1 else like ur bro who looks like ur sis sumtymes.

    diana lynch, but call her "di". pretty, rich & kinda dumb.

    dan mangan reformed juvenile delinquent. we got along gr8. i asked him y his name wuzn’t jones & he sed it wuz cuz he & jim r kinda rivalz 4 trickie. i sed, “wut do u think ‘bout this gerald guy then?” dan sed, “trickie is just tryin’ 2 make us jealous.”

  • At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Luis Guzmán said…


    Chica. Crabapples are not the favourite food of a hot-blooded Latino. But as a refugee, I learned to eat food I did not like. These dos chicas, honey and diana cannot hold back their looks to me. They can sense the love of a Latino, and its power. If they are the killers, then I will know quickly.

    Luis Guzmán

  • At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Duncan Anderson’s silhouette said…


    Dude. No killers. This girl Trickie said she found some letter from the Civil War in a crawl space @Crabapple Farm. It gives a hint where there is a hidden emerald necklace. She wants us to go and find it.

    I think April has ended that because the crawl space thing. She said that people who put highly valuable, but well-preserved things in a crawl space are just trying to fool people. Now that guy Jim said the Bob-Whites already solved the mystery of the hidden emerald necklace in Mystery #14 The Mystery of the Emeralds and April was right. Jeremy asked him what a Bob-White was, and Jim said it was their club for solving mysteries and he did a Bob-White whistle. Jeremy started laughing and I don’t think he can stop.

    I am going to stick to the shadows to see if can figure out what’s going on. Silhouettes are really good at that.

    Duncan Anderson’s silhouette

  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    we r having a v. v. strange time here. i dunno what 2 say!


  • At 8:53 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i may hafta punch out this jim guy if he duzn’t stop touchin’ u. not that i wanna, but i may hafta. so big surprise wuz a dinner made up mostly of crapapples, so it wuz vegan. & we got 2 contribute howard’z cake 2 the meal.

    neway, i am rilly glad u stopped that emerald mystery cuz of the crawlspace thing. it seemed rilly lame. trickie & jim seemed 2b kinda goin’ @it. trickie sez, “a mysterious key 2 honey’s attic & we there’s a tag w/a coded message on it.” jim sez, “mystery #7. the mysterious code” trickie sez, “a mysterious ghost iz makin’ thingz happen.” jim sez, “we had mysterious ghosts in mystery #11: the mystery at bob-white cave; mystery #22: the mystery at mead's mountain; mystery #27: the mystery of the ghostly galleon; mystery #32: the mystery of the whispering witch; & mystery #39: the mystery of the galloping ghost.” then trickie sed, “no fair. 1 of thoze wuz a ghost ship.” jim sed, “trickie. we don’t needta do ne mysteriez ovah.”

    then u sed, “i agree w/jim. my fam can’t stop goin’ ovah the same stuff week aftah week that they did back in 1979 and 1980. it iz so borin’. New iz way bettah.” then jim sed, “uc trickie. april thinks the same way i do.” then he touched u & i wuz ‘bout reddy 2 lose my temper & punch sum1 out. gerald thot it wuz funny 4 sum reasn.

    lucky 4 jim the irish setter showed up. trickie sed, “reddy. wut’s wrong?” i sed, “ur irish setter’s dog iz named ‘reddy’? i guess the same person named him who gave honey her nickname.” trickie sed, “jeremy jones. ur right. u must b a detective. how did u figger that 1 out?” i sed, “it wuz kinda obvious, u know namin’ sum1 aftah hair colour. i mean thass not a rilly original way 2 name sumthin’.” then trickie sed, “we may hafta make u a membah of the bob-whites, jeremy.” then she kinda gave me that hug which lasted a little 2 long, cuz u know i cud kinda tell u were gettin’ mad. gerald thot it wuz funny 4 sum reasn.

    i sed, “so wut’s wrong w/the dog? iz timmy trapped in the well or sumthin’?” trickie sed, “i dunno. let’s look.” so she did & that took awhile.

  • At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Luis Guzmán said…


    Chica. Why are we following this dog? This is not the thing a hot-blooded Latino does. Wait. Diana wants to “talk” to Luis in the bushes. Distract Rosario, will you?

    Luis Guzmán

  • At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Duncan Anderson’s silhouette said…


    Dude. I think we are headed to the house next door, the one Honey lives in called the Manor House.

    Why am I the only silhouette here? If we’re solving mysteries, there should be more silhouettes. Silhouettes are really good at hiding and waiting until the killer comes out. Following a dog doesn’t seem like much of a mystery to me. All these people are really white and everything is well-lit, even at night.

    Duncan Anderson’s silhouette

  • At 9:14 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, so we r followin’ this irish setter named reddy, eh? it turned out that there wuz a note w/a secret code attached 2 hiz collar. it took trickie awhile 2 work it out & i gotta say u showed a lotta restraint just not solvin’ the thing rite away. it sed:

    Floolw Rdedy ot teh meioustrys tsearrue.

  • At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Luis Guzmán said…


    Chica. Gracias for distracting Rosario, while I was with Diana. Are we still following this dog? A hot-blooded Latino has better things to do. Wait. Honey wants to “talk” to Luis in the bushes. Distract Rosario, will you?

    Luis Guzmán

  • At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Duncan Anderson’s silhouette said…


    Dude. You want to hear something funny? Like there was this whole trail of meat bits on the ground going over to the house next door, the one Honey lives in called the Manor House. But since I am a silhouette, I could see it really easy.

    So, I snuck ahead and moved all the meats bits around; so this dog is walking all over the place following my bits. Just look around. You can tell people are starting to get upset. Trickie’s 2 brothers are about to lose it. They are starting to say things like, “OK. First we are headed one way and then we are headed the other way. What is up with this dog?” You said it was something like following the plotline of members of your family reminiscing about the past, but I don’t think they got your joke.

    I don’t know if Dan Mangan would be mad too, but I saw him and Rosario in the bushes and they were a little bit busy. My non-silhouetted self might say, “roadside”, but I won’t. I am above such things; but Rosario may find her little megafone is hidden in an interesting place.

    Duncan Anderson’s silhouette

  • At 9:27 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    luis, u goof, the dog is supposta lead us 2 the mysterious... er, never, mind, i c u r bizzy.


  • At 9:29 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    oops, i posted b4 i saw duncan's silhouette's post. d00d, no! y'd ya do that? now the dog's not gonna lead us 2 what we r supposta find!


  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, thanx 4 endin’ it. it wuz gettin’ 2 painful. wen u sed 2 trickie, “hey, trickie! y r there peeps walkin’ ‘round in the dark ovah @that house where honey lives?” u distracted her frum followin’ the dog & she wuz aftah a diff mystery.

    ‘course wen she got ovah there, the lights turned on & peeps yelled “surprise!!” & started singin’ “happy birthday 2 trickie.” trickie sed, “i knew it wuz u guyz all along. the clues were obvious.” then trickie’s mom sed, “it wuz all gerald’s idea. he got brian & mart 2 go along w/it & send reddy 2u w/the note. he knew u cudn’t resist a mystery.” then trickie sed, “this iz the best birthday surprise evah.” & then she & gerald snogged a bit. then she sed, “plus doin’ an early birthday means i wuz not evn thinkin’ ‘bout birthdays yet. my birthday is not till may 1. this wuz smart of u2 do it early. no1 likes 2 have their b-day ignored or celebr8ed aftah it’s ovah.”

    then rosario came in & sed, “has ne1 seen my megaphone?” trickie sed, “a new mystery!!” i sed 2 dan, “so iz that a megaphone in ur pants or ru happy 2c me?” dan wuz a little mbarrassed, but rosario got her megaphone back. 4tun8ly 4 rosario, luis missed that little chat.

    unfortun8ly 4 luis, rosario noticed he wuz missin’ & trickie noticed honey wuz missing 2. she sed, “anothah mystery!!” that 1 didn’t end v. well.

  • At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Duncan Anderson’s silhouette said…


    Dude. You want to hear something funny? Like the birthday cake for Trickie said on it, “Happy Birthday in April” only the “in” part in the frosting looked like it was added at the last minute by someone. Weird, eh?

    There were a lot of mysteries tonight, but no dead bodies. Well, I think Honey’s parents wanted to kill Luis. They said something about “This is the reason why we don’t have hot-blooded Latinos at Crabapple Farm or the Manor House.” Again, silhouette prejudice. We silhouettes are just as dangerous with the ladies as Latinos. I wouldn’t cheat on Eva, of course; because she would punch me out. But still, I should get cheating respect.

    Speaking of mysteries, what did Trickie Beldan mean when she said, “You better not invite Gerald to your sister’s wedding as your date, if you know what’s good for you”? That was kind of whacked. Like you would even do that.

    Duncan Anderson’s silhouette

  • At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Luis Guzmán said…


    Chica. You were not so good distracting Rosario, while I was with Honey, but I forgive you. Do not worry about me and Rosario. A hot-blooded Latino has ways to calm a jealous Latina’s heart. And if not, it’s not like anyone expects me to have the same girlfriend from time-to-time.

    Luis Guzmán

  • At 12:34 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. This has been such a strange week of reminiscing. When the week started out, I was sure it was going to be mom and Connie Poirier thinking back to the wonderful world of 1979. But as the week progressed, and there were moments when neither mom nor Connie Poirier appeared in my memories, I realized that it was I who would be thinking back to those great old days.

    One of the greatest, I think, was the time when Dad gave me one of the best lessons I ever learned about married life. I was eating a sandwich in the usual Patterson style, which you know so well, and Dad was reading the paper, his customary position in the house. Something had been going on with the kettle. I am not sure what. It occasionally made a loud whistling noise, which I associated with coffee, which I also associated with mom being in a much better mood. Growing up, usually the kettle whistle was a happy sound.

    On this particular morning, it was not. Mom came into the kitchen, picked up the kettle, turned it on its end so the set of 4 reflective squares and the spout were upward, and then she said, “You can see I’m busy, John…the least you could do is un-plug the kettle!” I adored and worshipped my mom, so naturally I followed suit and said, “Yeah, dad…you sure are lazy!” I remember dad had a startled look on his face when I said that, but I wasn’t sure if it was because of my criticism, or because he noticed that the bite marks on my sandwich kept moving around.

    Now there are those people who might tell me that a parent shouldn’t criticize another parent in front of the children and that those kinds of disputes should be settled when the children aren’t around. They might say that it sets up a cycle of abuse where the child feels the criticized parent is fair game. Well, to those people I say, you could learn from my Dad.

    Right after I told dad he was lazy, mom turned around and with Lizzie right there to see her, she said to me, “…And, Michael, it is NOT your place to criticize your father!” The lesson there should have been obvious to me. Dad didn’t correct me, but mom did. If you notice carefully, only one person is running around criticizing people and that was mom. However, Dad did not want to take any chance that I might have missed this crucial lesson and he said to me in a whisper with his hand oddly blocking the projection of his voice to my ear, “…You’re infringing on your mother’s territory.” At that age, I didn’t know what “infringing” or “territory” meant; but years later I looked up those words, and Dad’s lesson to me that day came beaming through. I learned that it is mom’s job, right and privilege to criticize everyone around her; and that no matter how strongly we may feel about an issue, mom has the first chance to tear into someone and rip them to shreds with criticism.

    Once I opened that dictionary and realized what Dad was saying, I cannot tell how many times I avoided making that same mistake again. It was a life-saver, and I can honestly say it is probably the single best advice that a married man can get.

    Michael Patterson


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