Kitchen Duty for Dad

Today is Father’s Day, one of the first sunny days in a month of rain. But I am indoors, cleaning the kitchen, the way Dad would. I decided that would be the way to honor him this year.

My Dad had a lot of talents so kitchen clean-up might seem like a lame choice but Dad treated the task with the utmost respect and it’s about time I did too.

Ray Finlayson cleaned with the doggedness of a soldier, patrolling the borders of hidden dirt and secret smudges. He was never slap dash. Or dreary. He’d sing as he mopped up the gravy spills, the vegetable scraps and the meat gristle clinging to the cutting board. But that was just the opening salvo.

He’d dispatch the surviving dinner detritus back to the refrigerator and load the dishwasher to its groaning fullest, determined to cram in every last fork, sometimes shattering goblets and dooming us to stuck-on egg. But he was incorrigible on the mechanics. “That’s what they’re made for,” he’d intone, “Just thrun it all in!”—a nod to his Scottish roots, or his invented Daddy language. He’d push every high-speed, extra-rinse button to get his money’s worth.

Dad didn’t stint. He’d polish the tops of the salt and pepper shakers and the knobs of the cabinet doors, as he wielded his squirt bottle of whatever was handy. He never believed that there was a difference between Windex and stovetop cleaner, and dismissed my protests with “Ah, that’s just a marketing gimmick.” His final flourish was to shine the faucets and then fold the dishrag neatly over the spigot, with the grace of a sommelier. “Done!” he’d smile. “That’s how Daddy cleans the kitchen.”

I am my father’s daughter, but too often I forget the joy of shining the details or savoring the everyday.  I race to the ‘big what’s next’. My father was a master of burnishing the now. He respected the wipe of a rag.

I want to do more than miss him on Father’s Day. I want to keep learning from the best teacher I ever had. The man who taught me how to take care of myself, even if I don’t clean up so well. I can learn, Daddy. I can learn.

share the love:


{ no comments }

You can be the first to comment!

Leave a comment



please answer this equation – because spam bots can't do math......yet

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

sample chapter
Enjoy a free selected chapter from The God Box.
Download

reading group guide
Invite your book club to join this engaging conversation about Mary Lou’s book.
Download

printable mini cards
Share these mini note cards or write notes for your God Box.
Download

mobile app
The God Box app makes it easy to write notes on the go.
Download

giving back
Ask how Mary Lou can support your local cause with the book and play.
Learn more

 

Come meet Mary Lou and experience The God Box: A Daughter's Story at a venue near you.
Learn more


press & praise
View All
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan shares her mother’s handmade and heartfelt gift of how to persist, believe and move forward with joy."
    – LEE WOODRUFF, AUTHOR OF "IN AN INSTANT"
  • "A wonderful legacy…Keeping a God Box is an incredibly moving and hopeful ritual that we should all consider adding into our daily lives."
    – REBA, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR, ACTRESS
  • "Mary Lou Quinlan has told the story of her mother in a way that entertains, moves and inspires. The thoughts about life and values will stick with you forever."
    – JIM LEHRER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF PBS NEWSHOUR
  • "What a beautiful and profoundly human book....I will keep The God Box in my heart for a long, long time."
    – LAURA SCHROFF, AUTHOR OF "THE INVISIBLE THREAD"
  • "In the slips of paper that carry this sweet story forward, we can see the love in our own families and the great possibilities of simple faith."
    – JEFFREY ZASLOW, COAUTHOR OF "THE LAST LECTURE"
  • "The courage and wisdom from the messages left in her mother’s God Box will inspire you to create a God Box of your own."
    – GAIL SHEEHY, AUTHOR OF "PASSAGES IN CAREGIVING"
  • "A beautiful story of love, faith and family. It reads like an intimate, familiar prayer."
    – ELIZABETH GILBERT, AUTHOR OF "EAT, PRAY, LOVE"

The God Box App is shiny new and ready to welcome your cares

December 18, 2017
by Mary Lou Quinlan

Since The God Box book was published in the spring of 2012, so many readers have told me that they started their own God Boxes. I love hearing stories of children creating God Boxes and married couples joining their prayer and cares in a family box. (And my mother would be thrilled!)  A 'real' God box is a constant reminder that we are not in control and that letting go is the first step to finding comfort, hope and relief for life's worries. But did you know that many thousands have gone virtual with their God boxes? To help the many busy ...

View More