Ever have one of those moments? You are in the shower and suddenly awash with gratitude? Well, maybe you are just awash with water and soap, but I find gratitude. We are poor as a family of church mice, but we are so fortunate. I was standing in the shower and thinking about
The hot water that comes right from the tap. Turn the dial, bam! Hot water. What a miracle. We can shower every day, three times a day if we want to.
Here are some other things that fill me with gratitude. Of course, I am grateful for health and love and my awesome family. But this post is specifically about modern miracles and conveniences that we in the States often take for granted. They are not universal rights, and many of them did not exist 150 years ago.
Right out the front door, we put our garbage and recycling, and these guys just take it away. No living side by side with our garbage, no need to burn or bury toxic waste in our back yard. I realize there is a lot wrong with our current system of trash disposal, but still I am grateful for this service. And as more cities offer things like curbside recycling, the options get better.
Exotic and mundane foods live side by side, ready for purchasing. We do not need to hunt and gather unless we choose to. Years ago, families would have to carefully plan their trips to the trading post to stock up on staples. Now we have an overwhelming decision to make each time we want to buy mustard.
Clean drinking water
It seems like such a simple, automatic thing. Turn the knob, fill a glass, and drink. If I am feeling fancy, I will add ice. Or a lemon wedge. But there are millions of people in the world who lack access to this most basic need. I am profoundly grateful for clean, regulated water.
What comes in must go out. Next on my list, indoor plumbing
Although the concept has been around for a long time, indoor plumbing as a household necessity is new and definitely not worldwide. The convenience of staying in the warm house in the middle of the night is wonderful. Sharing 1 bathroom with 4 other people is a drag sometimes, but it is nothing compared to the one toilet shared by 11 households that lived in a lane in Limerick, Ireland. But of course, the true joy is in the sanitation system that magically carts the waste away. This saves us all from all sorts of terrible diseases.
Flip a switch, the light goes on. Magic. This magic allows for other magic.
Regulated temperatures, lots of cooking space, no fire to make, right inside and next to the refrigerator.
We even have a microwave that can heat dinner in minutes.
Not our dogs, but they share the sentiment.No firewood to gather, no cold mornings, just set the thermostat and go on with our lives.
What once looked like this
And was a marvel
Now looks like this
And is a marvel
And of course add this
And you have the most incredible tool ever-news, connections around the world, Netflix! Cats!
All of these wonders are housed in my house, and my house is next.
Even though we are surviving on two small incomes and a student loan, we are still able to afford to live in a house that is adorable and fits us all.
There is more of course: cars, lights, health care, travel. The list goes on and on. Even at the bottom of the income barrel, we live abundantly. For this I am grateful. I know that, even in this country, not everyone has these luxuries.