Wednesday, November 12, 2014

appliances

Today's RevGal NaBloPoMo prompt is about an appliance I can't live without.

I've been pondering all day...an appliance I couldn't live without? I've lived without a dishwasher (though I wouldn't *want* to, I can). I've been sans microwave (again, not ideal, but doable). I have lived in places without washer and dryer. I hardly use my TV. My oven's primary use is frozen pizza. Even thinking of things like my computer, my heated mattress pad, or my water cooler as "appliances" I still think I COULD live without them. I don't want to, of course. The water at my house is so disgusting, and it's cold here in winter so I like to preheat my bed, and I obviously spend a significant amount of time on the computer.

But really, it would be possible for me to live without these things. I have lived without these things. Most of the non-USA places I've lived have been experiences of not-having, all of which turned out to be incredible experiences of having...just different things.

So no washer or dryer on Iona, but that didn't deter me from dancing my heart out at the weekly ceilidh, or skinny dipping among the bioluminescence at midnight, or singing in an ancient chapel, or tasting all the whiskeys in the pub, or making incredible friends.

No microwave or dishwasher in Egypt, but I still managed to learn to cook amazing things, talk about food in a new language, and "have people over for dinner" in my flat all the time. We still managed to bake and build a gingerbread house, cook Thanksgiving dinner for many, and create all kinds of random new foods (hello zucchini stuffed tomatoes, I'm looking at you).

No electricity to speak of in our hut at the seminary in Jamaica. Didn't stop us from making jokes about the stretchy toilet paper, or learning how to eat sugar cane or make coconut candy.

Basically no appliances at all in my dorm room in seminary. It was just a living room, bedroom, and bathroom. I seem to have survived without ironing anything or watching TV (well, okay, I clearly had friends with TV), and I hardly even put my stereo to much use.

So I guess the moral of this story is that I *could* live without lots of things I take for granted and enjoy in my home. I am grateful to have so many things--a gas stove (even if only 3 burners work), an oven, a fridge, a microwave, a toaster oven, a panini press, a vitamin, a kitchen aid, a waffle maker, a washer and dryer, a tv and dvd player, a fan, lights, computer, water cooler, furnace/ac, water heater, etc. (I still don't have an iron.) I don't want to live without any of these things. They make my life easier and more comfortable, provide enjoyment and practicality, and contribute to my happiness in lots of ways. But the combination of experience and imagination suggests that there is no answer to "what one appliance could you not live without?"

Recognizing my abundance is part of gratitude, right? So I give thanks, over and over, every time I use these amazing things.

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