Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Habits and Appliances

I've had a couple of rare nights alone as D doesn't roll in until later this evening. Funny enough, it only took moments to revert to some of my old habits.

One of the things I am starting to do is observing myself more closely -- my behaviours, attitudes, how I go about doing things.

I chuckle as I shut the light to the kitchen and proceed to turn on the light in the dining room. D finds that behaviour funny. To me, it is normal. Have light in the room I am in. It's as simple as that. From the street, I guess it may look different or cheap but the light literally lights my steps around the house.

On my way home from a long day of work, I was very tempted to stop and have dinner at the neighbourhood Thai restaurant as a reward for working hard. My mind was into it, but my feet kept walking so it was funny to see my head turning back towards the restaurant as I kept moving forward. I see that I've got my feet trained to frugality without even knowing it!

I walked through my home as if for the first time. I had been away from it long enough to appreciate it anew and it brought back some memories.

The stove and dishwasher that came with our house was not adequately functional upon closer inspection. So within a day of moving in, I got the job of looking for replacements.

I had never used a gas range before nor even a gas barbeque. In fact, I was rather scared of the idea of blowing up the house. Charcoal was the type of barbeque my family used and electric were the ranges I'm familiar with. My last home was new and came with new appliances so I have never even shopped for appliances before. I was in for a surprise.

I had no idea how far along appliance technology and design had come. The salesman must have thought I was some hick woman from some hick town, the way I was literally gawking around (I'm a visual person). Once I calmed down, I learned a lot.

For instance, the benefits of a stainless interior for a dishwasher, the levels of quiet available for dishwashers, sensors for amount of "dirt" in the dish washing water allowing it to shorten the cycle to save water and energy, how having a tile floor under the dishwasher can cause installation problems etc.

With respect to the range, I didn't realize that I needed to hire a licensed gas fitter to be present when the appliance was to be delivered. That it needed an electric start -- thus needed to be plugged in (duh!), that warming draws existed, that I don't actually see the flames in the oven when it is on (there is a cover), how cool a built in thermometer (for roasts) is and how neat that one flip of the grill top created a wok holder.

The purchase was made at a small store that was family owned for over 50 years. All three places I went to had stock but they were the only one who were willing to coordinate the arrival of the gas fitter for me as I was getting nowhere with the yellow pages.

As you probably have experienced, when you are expecting a delivery, there is not usually a set time but a few hours range of time and when they are also removing the old appliances, I needed the gas fitter person to be there to detach the old stove and attach the new one (it's the law, I cannot do it myself, nor would I be remotely interested in trying). So I could not book anyone when I didn't know the time.

They said 8:30 am the next morning and they were 10 minutes early. I couldn't believe it. And who shows up but the owner himself (the one who helped me through my purchase) with his friend the licenced gas fitter/plumber who was to install the dishwasher as well.

Yes, we found out that we did have ceramic tile under the old dishwasher so it was a job trying to find that small fraction of space without having to take the counter off the island. I had to go to work by that time so D took over.

I cannot say more about that store and when it is time to buy my next appliance, I know where I'm going. I hope that I come even close to providing the same level of real service to my clients as I feel I've received in this experience.

The owner tells me that he won't be selling me another range or dishwasher for probably a couple of decades or more because that's how long they last. The clients he has who are purchasing their second ones are all retired.

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