Others were given up slightly less willingly. For instance, my dishwasher. When we first moved to the country two summers ago, the trailer we bought had a portable dishwasher in it. However, it didn't take long to notice that it was sitting in the location originally intended for the fridge. The fridge had been moved across the room to a very awkward position, stuffed into a coat closet into which it did not fit properly, therefore protruding into the room about 18 inches farther than necessary. This interrupted the flow of traffic through the house, and used valuable space (something that was at a premium).
In fact, it became such an annoyance, and the space I was working in seemed so crowded to me, that it wasn't long before I decided that I would rather return the fridge to its intended location than have a dishwasher. This would improve the efficiency of the kitchen, the traffic flow through the house, and for all I could tell, the dishwasher didn't work properly anyway.
I don't regret that decision. However, I didn't realize how having to do three loads of dishes by hand every day would actually affect our lifestyle, some ways more subtly than others.
For instance, I used to love to experiment with cooking. Experimenting is something that usually takes extra time, and uses extra dishes. With the amount of time already spent on my feet in the kitchen, hands in the dishpan, I had slipped into a "fast-and-tested" menu plan before I had even realized it, all because I had no desire to spend any more time in the kitchen.
Also, the post-supper dishes were usually done by my wonderful husband. This meant that by the time the dishes were done, it was time to put the kids to bed, and they had not had nearly as much time as they wanted to play with him.
After Jude (the kid who thrives on "quality time") found out that our new home would have a dishwasher, he declared that it was the part he was most excited about.
"Why?" I asked, curious. It's not like he usually did the dishes, after all.
"Because then Daddy will have more time to play with us after supper."
My reasons were different, but I, too, was looking forward to having one, so that I would just have more time in general. After a few hiccups working through issues with our extremely hard, iron-laden water (sitting a 1/4-cup of white vinegar on the top rack in every load is essential if we don't want our dishes to look like they are covered in chalk), it has proven to be exactly the reprieve I had hoped it would be from dishpan hands and aching feet and back. And the best part? I have started experimenting again.
Speaking of modern conveniences, I am happy to report that we have had a working furnace for several weeks, now. We also have power in our addition, thanks to a couple of electrician friends who made sure of it. And after a week of having no oven (it shorted out on me Friday before last), Jason brought our other stove over from the "parts trailer"--which has its own issues, but at least the oven works (most of the time.) Which means that finally, we are almost all the way "moved in."
We are thankful for these modern conveniences--the weatherman says the snow is on its way.