Today’s word of the day: docile
adjective: easily taught; easily led or managed

I moved into a new apartment on October 1st and for 39 days I have lived without a microwave.

A move is a fluid process. There are things one leaves behind when moving out and there are things one needs to acquire upon moving in. I left several bags of clothing to Goodwill, knew I would need to purchase a DVD player, reading chair… and recently realized that I could use a kitchen timer… but do I really need a microwave?

My parents tell me that the microwave we have in the kitchen is older than I am. And despite its age, the microwave is probably one of the best appliances that have ever graced the Gregory household. There have been many a toaster ovens, but only one microwave oven. Its survived a few accidental fires (including the time that I decided it would be a good idea to warm a Wendy’s hamburger in the foil wrapper) and it served as my “last glance” mirror for my bottom half on my way out for school in the mornings. Oh, and it has helped us prepare millions of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

I will proudly admit that no other microwave has earned the respect I have for the clunker in the kitchen. Although its chassis might by boxy and its technology rudimentary, it heats everything through and through. It ranks almost as high on my best electronics/appliances ever list, just behind my alarm clock.

When I set out to write this blog post, I thought I might focus on how I have docilely managed life without creature comforts such as instant dinners and blu-ray movies. And how I walk home 3.5 miles from work like those several generations before me have done. But as I re-read I realize I took an appreciative tone for those things in life that are constant comforts. Ones that, only when we are reminded of them, do we miss and appreciate their cause.

My Mom, driving me to the train station this morning, spoke of the comfort sung last evening by Keb Mo, one of my family’s constant musical companions. It’s an interesting song, which speaks of comfort as the underlying drive that has led our society to abuse our natural resources and poison the planet. On one hand comfort can be soothing, familiar, and relaxing – a favorite blanket, familiar smell, family favorites… and, on the other, wasteful, unnecessary, and even trivial.

Interesting how concepts evolve, flucuate, wave…