When I stumbled across this statement it intrigued me. Look around you. You are living with dozens of “must have” items that did not exist 30, 50, 75 or 100 years ago. Think of all the modern conveniences you use on a daily basis. Which 10 things are most important, those items you can not live without?
There is so much we take for granted. Things that in my lifetime have gone from non-existent to everyday use. As I went through my day I thought about the things I was using. What would life be like without this convenience? That is how I came up with my list of 10 Things I Can’t Live Without.
- Hot Water Heater — I know, pretty basic. This occurred to me as I was climbing into my nice hot shower. Before they existed people had to haul water in and heat it on a stove, then pour it into a tub and take a bath. All that work just to get clean! That brings me to my second item.
- The Shower — before someone figured out how to force water up through a pipe and out above your head, everyone took baths. Some people still do. Some find it relaxing to climb into a tub and while away in a nice soak. Not me. I am a shower person hands-down. One of the great inventions, and you don’t have to haul or boil water to receive it.
- Furnace — convenient heat. No hauling wood, building a fire, having it die down overnight and waking up to a chilly home. My furnace that I set at a temperature I want it to be at and it conveniently kicks on and off throughout the day and night to maintain the temperature of my home. The convenience of warmth, or coolness if you also have air conditioning.
- Automobile — the ability to walk out, get into my vehicle and drive wherever I need to be. It has heat. It has air conditioning. I can listen to the radio or news. It protects me from the wind, rain, snow, cold, heat. It gets me where I need to go quickly. I can’t imagine life without the convenience of my vehicle.
- Internet — now I know there are people who live without being connected to the internet, or do they? People are connected through their phones so they are never really not connected, just maybe not through a computer at home. However I use the internet at work, at home, for staying in touch with family and friends, for gathering information, planning trips, mapping out routes, maintaining the website where I have my photographs, and writing this blog. So much of what I do involves around the internet I would be very limited in what I do without it. In fact when the power goes out, there is a tremendous amount of things I can’t do at home or work.
- Cell Phone — gone are the days of a phone attached to a wall with a 16-foot cord. We now carry our phones with us everywhere we go. It allows us to be in connection with others through phone calls, text messages, and social networks. We use it as a computer, for navigation, for information, as a clock, as an alarm, stopwatch, to get news updates and weather reports. The cell phone is a multi-use tool that we have all become dependent on to keep us in check as we go through the day. How did we ever manage to live and survive without it?
- My Camera — I know, a weird one to pop up in this list. A camera is the window to the world, past and present. The images you capture hold forever in time a moment that will never again be repeated. It is your memories held for generations to come. Walking and looking around you, taking photographs of whatever captures your eye is relaxing. I do the same thing driving, I see something, I stop and photograph it. It is relaxing. It is preservation of time. It is important to me.
- Paper and Pen — writing tools. I can write without a computer. I quite often write things by hand and later transcribe them into a typed format. Why? Because if traveling it is easier to pack paper and pen than my laptop. Writing by hand slows the brain down, it causes you to spend more time formulating your thoughts. It is not as easy to go back, erase and re-write if you are using paper and pen. This is another activity that is relaxing and preserves thoughts and ideas for future reference.
- Range/Refrigerator — those wonderful kitchen appliances. Gone are the days of purchasing a block of ice and having it put into your “ice box,” although I do have an antique one in my garage. Pull refrigerated or frozen food out of your refrigerator and cook it on your range, either on the burners or in the oven. No hauling wood and estimating the temperature. Push those buttons, wait for the “ding” to tell you it has reached the appropriate baking temperature and pop it in, then set the automatic timer to let you know when to remove it. Convenience.
- Washer/Dryer — laundry at its finest. No hauling water, timing the cleaning of your clothes in proper order, whites to darks because you are re-using the water, then running it through the ringer to get the water out before hauling the basket out to the washline to hang the items to dry. Although I will admit, I love the smell of clothes dried outside on a line. Now I throw the clothes in my washer, add the detergent and fabric softner, set which type of wash it is –colored, towels, handwash, etc. — and push the start button. I don’t even have to select how much water is needed, the machine weighs my laundry and makes that determination for me. Laundry is now an load here, load there, convenience instead of an all day job.
- Microwave — remember when these came out? Convenience. They were big, bulky, but fast. Was it safe? Who cared – it was a quick way to get things heated. I will admit that the majority of my cooking is done the old-fashioned way, on a range, oven, or crock-pot. However one cannot beat the microwave for warming up beverages, popping popcorn, reheating leftovers, or other quick-fix items. It has made day-to-day life very easy.
I know, I’m over the limit, not only do I have 11 items on my list, but on some I cheated and doubled up. Once the mind got rolling it was hard to narrow down the items, and even now I can think of more. What about crock pots/slow cookers, electricity, flashlights, gas grills, and more. As soon as I send this I’m going to think — why didn’t I put such-and-such in?
What are the items you can’t imagine life without? What are the ten items you can’t live with out?