Saturday, March 10, 2012

Being grateful for things

First of all, I'm of course grateful for my amazing husband and wonderful friends and I love hugs and cuddles and spending time with people. But after my last post complaining about Stuff, I thought I'd list some of the Stuff I'm grateful for today.
  • A working washing machine. It was making horrible sounds a few days ago and I really thought those might be its dying throes. It's done another six or so loads since then, with no weird sounds, so seems okay. I've only spent one year and two months without a washing machine in my whole life, but that one year (when I was 18-19 and lived in Mexico) and those two months (six years ago, in Thailand) of washing all of my clothes by hand, or in the case of Thailand, washing all of the clothes for six of us by hand, mean that it is a very rare time that I put on a load of laundry without consciously being grateful for having a washing machine.
  • Towels. When we got married, Jörn already had his own household and a tiny flat, and we told everyone that we did NOT need any gifts. People don't like that. We received various gifts after all, but about half of the people who gave us something gave us towels. It got to be quite a joke. We have lots and lots and lots of towels, no more than any two matching each other. Thursday night and yesterday, with two children throwing up, I used up ALL of the medium-sized towels, something I don't think we've ever done before.
  • Lack of fashion consciousness. This means that I truly don't care that none of the towels match. (Okay, so that's not "stuff", but oh well.) 
  • Sunshine and wind yesterday and today. I've already folded and returned to the closet an entire load of towels that I washed yesterday morning, as it is absoutely perfect drying weather. (Hmm...that's not "stuff" either...)
  • Hand-me-downs. I hate shopping and have little to no interest in clothes, so hand-me-downs are wonderful. It also means that we have way more than enough clothes, so the fact that Helen and Elisabeth had to be changed multiple times yesterday only affected the amount of laundry, not the possibility of clothing them.
  • Being 41. I thought turning 40 last year would make me feel grown-up, but it didn't. I was pleased to discover this morning that turning 41 doesn't, either. (I seem to be having a hard time remembering that I only wanted to list THINGS...)
  • Hot water. In the shower this morning I reminded myself that it's a pleasure to enjoy hot water. In a very few months, I will be getting up early just so that I can have a cold shower, as there will be no more possibility of that during the day.
  • Photo albums. I like a particular kind of photo album, which we always used to buy in Germany for about €5, but hadn't found here for less than €18. I still have several that Jörn bought in Austria a couple of years ago and that various friends brought me from Germany last year, but last week, Jörn found them at Lidl (a German store) here in Cyprus, for €5! I've spent much of the last week putting photos in albums, from the middle of November 2010 through the middle of May 2011. Jörn just got home with some more double-sided tape for me, so as soon as I've posted this, I'm going back to working on photos. I have photos printed through July 2011 and have August and September ready to order. I WILL catch up this year!
  • My laptop. Okay, so the T and the Y and a few function keys no longer work, since Helen threw up on it a little over a year ago, but I don't actually go anywhere with it, so it's not a problem to use an external keyboard. I can do photo sorting and editing to my heart's content and not be blocking the family computer. I also use it for e-mail, Facebook, writing stuff, and occasionally blogging.
  • The piano. So we got it second-hand and for a great price and it can't actually be tuned to pitch (well, maybe it can, but the tuner didn't recommend trying it), but not actually being a musician, it still felt like such a luxury when we got it three years ago. For the last few months, however, I've really been enjoying playing (with) it most days, and it's been exciting to watch Jacob teaching himself piano, and Marie improving dramatically. (Her instrument is violin, but I wouldn't let her start violin lessons five years ago until she'd had a year of piano lessons with me, but I really only taught her to read music and got her started.) All of the other children enjoy playing (with) the piano, too, and it's a luxury that I really love having.
  • Bananas. Which my husband just reminded me that he also just bought, so I need to post this and go make my birthday cake. And THEN work on photos.