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Out On The Mudline

Broken Dishwasher Results In Dish Pan Hands

By W. P. Sissell

New “Learning”

It has been a hectic week.  Many years ago I agreed with Nanette that I would “fix” things in the house but leave everything else to her.  I have learned over the past week that I know nothing about meal planning or preparation.  I couldn’t even find the proper button to punch on the microwave.  One of the grandchildren, Melba, stayed with us for several days to help   Nanette and me.  

On the fourth Nanette had surgery on a foot and for several days had to use a walker in addition to a wooden shoe. At present she is still using the wooden shoe but must don her “Wal Mart” plastic bag for trips outside the house.  I know that it hasn’t been fun for her but some of the happenings have been hilarious.  It began when we first got her home after the surgery.  She elected not to spend a night in the hospital. Still a little bit under the influence of medication, everything she said was emphasized with a pointed finger while talking to the family group present.  

My Instruction Begins

Many of you are aware that it is hummingbird season. Early on we had only a couple but now there is a mob that I cannot enumerate.  At the arrival, for several years there has been one that comes to the kitchen window to look in on Nanette.  At this point the feeders have to be refilled daily. The little darlings boycott our feeders if we use water from the water system.  Previously there was no boycott of water from our filtration system or from the artesian well on the Crowder farm—we buy water and sugar.  Now I had to learn how to prepare the sugar water for the feeders—some of my techniques (for dissolving a solid in a liquid in my Chemistry labs) were questioned.  It took me several days to master all the correct procedures.  

“Pill Counting”

One of our courses at each meal consists of medications—pills.  Yes, there are some half pill doses too.  My wife has lovingly done this for me through the years—I don’t have to worry about it at all.  We did buy some little plastic boxes  to mete out the daily dosages, morning, noon, and night. I thought I did  very well in these first lessons, getting my code on each medicine bottle.  Once I got this mastered someone came in with a new set of plastic boxes that lasted through the week.  


I thought I had done quite a job.  In three days I mastered most of the tasks facing me—Nanette was still giving me instruction (very precise) on the cooking.  That third day she asked about the fullness of the dishwasher. When I told her it was full she told me which button to push to start the machine.  I followed her instruction—I pushed the button—nothing happened.  The repairman finally found that the circuit board was defective.  We now have a new dishwasher—after about a week.  

This was the first job that I did not have to learn—I spent two days on “K.P.” during my service time.  I now have “dish pan” hands. As I washed those dishes I mused thinking about those days out on the Mud Line and how they compared to our present day. Nanette is about back to normal. The stitches come out tomorrow and I am already off K.P., and  have resolved to be a little more helpful in the kitchen.  

Our wish for you is a great week.  I’m going to try to have the same.  You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, or 622-563-9879.

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