Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Memory Monday: Appliance Gratitude

This last week, our microwave decided to die on us.  (This isn't the "memory" part of my post.  This is just the setup of what brought back this particular memory, or memories, if you will.)  One minute it was working, the next minute there was absolutely no heat emitting from its...micro waves. 

The appliance fixer guy came out and said a piece wasn't working.  I keep wanting to call it the Megatron.  The...Magnavox?  The...MAGNATRON!  Yes!  I remembered!  (Seriously, my brain goes to Megatron first.  I must have boys in my house.)  Anyway, that's the thing that makes the microwave work.  We could either replace the part, or get a new one for the same exact cost.  I went with a new one, because why not?

While I was looking around the store, I saw some really fancy appliances.  It's only been 5-ish years since I've done some appliance shopping, though at the time we had Budget X to work with because that's what our home builders told us we had.  Of course we could have gone over Budget X to get fancier things, but we didn't have more money with which to spend on the fancy, so Plain Jane is what we ended up getting.

But now?  There are microwaves that have grills inside of them.  Crazy, huh?  And there are ovens that have a smaller oven door, which totally fits a 9x13 pan, but you only have to heat up the smaller one (and then there's a full-size oven underneath), so it's more energy efficient and all that jazz.  (Here's a picture of one.  Awesome, huh?)

And then there's the fancy, roomy dishwasher. *sigh*  Of all my appliances, I would want my dishwasher to break.  It's short, and small, and the utensil holder is in the bottom instead of on the door so it takes up a ton of room, and then it has that spindle thing in the middle of the bottom and top that shoots water up, so you have to work around it.  And because my dishwasher is short, if I use a normal-sized skillet, I have to lean it over, so it takes up more than half of the bottom of the dishwasher to clean it.

I was coveting, my friends.

However.  This experience brings me to my Memory Monday.  And because it's late, I'm sure I'll forget all sorts of descriptive details about it.  Though, I think for Memory Monday's sake, I'm going to just stick to the appliance section of this time in my life.

The year span was 2002-2005.  Pete and I got married in June of 2002, and we moved into married student housing on campus at Utah State.  I think these beauties were built in, like, the 1940s or something.  There were plenty of things wrong with the Aggie Village apartments, but for two really poor college students, they were just fine.  Here's a pic of one of the buildings:

Sweet, sweet cinder block walls with no air conditioning.  Very cold in the winter, warm like unto an oven in the summer.  (And then being SUPER pregnant during one of those summers!  Yikes.  Bikes.)  They were cheap, but a great deal because our water, cable, internet, phone, garbage, sewer, and electricity were all included in the price.  The downside: no appliances to be had.

Laundry machines?  We were lucky enough to have the laundry building right next door to our building.  Microwave?  Pete's siblings all pitched in to get us one for our wedding gift.  It sat on an old desk that Pete had had in his single days.  Dishwasher?  I called my dishwasher my hands, my sink, soap, and a towel.  We had a dinky little gas oven in which only one of my cookie sheets would fit all the way.

Our cabinets had sliding fake wood doors.  Our "pantry" was maybe a foot wide and maybe two feet deep (I'm being generous on the measurements).

One day in Sunday School during church (which was basically our whole ward, because there were, like, 5 kids old enough to be in nursery while the rest were all brand new babies, and that was the entirety of our primary), someone made a comment about our fake wood sliding cabinet doors, and our lack of counter space.  And I think every woman in the room started fantasizing about real wood cabinets, and appliances that were younger than she was.  And our teacher (I can't remember his name, but he had red hair, if I'm remembering right) made this comment:

If we can always remember our fake wood cabinets during this time in our lives, we will always be grateful for what we have.

That really hit me.  I think he was trying to say a few things-or, I interpreted it a few different ways.  One, that someday we'll look back and realize how poor we were in college, and that hopefully we'll be better off in the future, but we need to be grateful for how far we've come.  Two, that aren't we lucky to even be in college, and that we even have cabinets in which to house our food and dishes.  And three, all we need are the basics, and our happiness doesn't come from material goods.

So yes, I coveted a new dishwasher last week.  But then I remembered what life was like without one, and I realized how great I have it.  I am so blessed, and not just with appliances.


lexykay said...

i'm so excited for the day when i have a dishwasher again. :)

Steph @ Crafting in the Rain said...

One of my first appliance memories is having the door of our microwave swing over the open flame of our gas burner on the stove and melting part of it! It still closed and worked, but was all gross and bubbly on one corner. I covered it up a little with white nail polish :)

Now we'll be shopping for everything soon, because we get to redo our kitchen!

Karlenn said...

I think your cupboard/pantry in college is the same size as mine right now. Blah. I find that, the more I watch Home and Garden TV, the more I covet. I need to limit my home improvement show watching.

Mindy H. said...

It sounds like you had a wise teacher. Thanks for passing along the advice!