Thursday Thoughts: Washing the silverware …

What are your memories of childhood, folks? Good ones, mostly?

I grew up as an adopted child with parents who did their very best. No argument there at all.

My mother was damaged by her childhood, but she really tried to be a good mother. Unfortunately, she was just 7 when her own mother died, so her childhood wasn’t full of light and love. There was a huge empty space in her that nothing could ever really fill.

My dad had the opposite upbringing as the baby of a family filled with love and no huge traumas to deal with. He was full of love and affection, and he clearly loved his life with us all. People always seemed to smile when they were around him!

But it’s no surprise that each one had a different way of dealing with aggravations that are common to partners or to any connections we might have.

For the life of me, I don’t remember my folks arguing very much; I’m sure they did, but I don’t remember any loud noises or anything like that. I am very grateful for that!

What I do remember is one thing my dad did when he was upset – although I doubt I ever even knew his exact “why.”

Every now and then, he would take the container from the drawer in the kitchen that held all the silverware, run hot water into the sink, fill it with the silverware, and wash each piece carefully. He’d hum a little, I think.

He’d look out the window towards the back yard, and methodically clean each piece, turning it over and over, ensuring he wasn’t missing anything.

Of course, the silverware was already clean, but it seemed to help him get over whatever had aggravated him. I could see him slowly begin to smile, to relax … to get over “it.”

He only lived until he was 71, far too young to leave us, and I really wish I could have had him many more years to ask all the questions I had as I grew older myself. To have been surrounded by love so fully given.

But I am grateful to have seen one way to deal with irritations that didn’t involve loud noises or scary scenes that kids might witness.

He was one amazing man and dad.

I miss him more than I can say, even today.

What are the memories that still tug at you as an adult from your childhood? Love to know if anyone has stories like this!


Susan Rooks
Susan Rooks
With nearly 30 years’ experience as an international workshop leader, Susan Rooks is uniquely positioned to help people master the communication skills they need to succeed. In 1995, Susan formed Grammar Goddess Communication, creating and leading workshops in three main areas – American grammar, business writing, and interpersonal skills – to help business pros enhance their communication skills. She also leads one-hour LinkedIn workshops (Master the LinkedIn Profile Basics) via Zoom to help business pros anywhere maximize their LinkedIn experience, offering it to Chambers of Commerce and other civic organizations free of charge. As an editor, Susan has worked on business blogs, award-winning children’s books, best-selling business books, website content, and even corporate annual reports (with clients from half a dozen countries), ensuring that all material is professionally presented. In April 2022, Susan became the Managing Editor of the Florida Specifier, a bi-monthly trade publication covering Florida’s diverse environmental industry. And although the focus is on Florida’s issues, many of these same challenges are found elsewhere around the world, so the readership isn’t limited to just Floridians or those interested in that state. But in all these endeavors, Susan’s only goal is to help everyone look and sound as smart as they are.

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