One arm was squeezing a grocery bag too tight, the other juggled my car keys, purse, tennis shoes, and a pot of hyacinth bulbs nearing bloom-time.Â I had enough wiggle left in my fingers to get the kitchen door open before dropping all of the above in a spectacular mess.Â Pudgy (our cat) wisely skittered off before a wayward avocado nailed her.
Tossing my coat in one direction and kicking my shoes off in another, I slapped my hand blindly outside the doorframe.Â On about the third try I managed to hit the button that closes the garage door. It was about then I realized how different my life is from not all that long ago.Â I also realized how quickly a person takes for granted the conveniences that surround us.
It wasnâ€™t until I married my husband and moved to our current home that I experienced owning the following for the first time in my life:
- a dishwasher
- a garage
- a garage door opener
- a fireplace
- an outside deck
I remember one of my high school teachers asking how many of us students thought weâ€™d have a washer and dryer in our first homes after graduating.Â Most of us looked around somewhat baffled.Â Of course weâ€™d have a washer and dryer! What? Were we uncivilized?
But you know what?Â When my first husband and I moved into our house, we didnâ€™t have the money to buy a washer and dryer.Â It was off to the Laundromat for us.Â It wasnâ€™t until our first child arrived that we purchased a washing machine (with the help from my mother-in-law), and a used dryer.Â Later, after divorcing, I once again used the Laundromat and hoisted baskets of clothes to and from the upstairs apartment the kids and I were renting.
Today, as I schlepped into the kitchen, the hum of the dishwasherâ€™s “pots and pans” cycle was in full harmony with the rest of the conveniences I adore but have gotten used to as part of my daily rhythm.
Push a button here.Â Press a button there.Â Itâ€™s so much easier now.Â Listening to the garage door screech and grind its way to the ground was a good reminder of how far Iâ€™ve come, but how close the past is too.