From a City Apartment to a Country House: Getting Comfortable With Home Tech

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A little over a month ago, I moved into my first grown-up non-apartment home, and it's been quite an education. I've learned so much about the modern world: dishwashers, remote controls, central air. How many wonders can one modest single-family home hold?!

Here are a few of the things I've learned since moving into my new home:

  • How to operate central air: My 14 years of renting have involved landlord-controlled radiators, space heaters, 8 years of heat/AC-free living in San Francisco, and one glorious Chicago summer with a window unit air conditioner, but nothing even remotely resembling the luxury of central air.

  • The importance of emptying a vacuum canister, and how to do so: I've only ever had wooden floors! Growing up, I would vacuum the rugs in my parents' house, but they had a very old-fashioned model with an ancient, ornery bag system my dad always took care of. 

  • How to operate complicated remote controls: I've never had cable, DVR, a stereo system, or whatever that 4th remote controls (is Blu-ray a thing?) I'm still working on this one, and every day brings new challenges and triumphs. "Dear Diary, today I successfully watched a show I was trying to watch and then turned the TV off when I was done."

  • How to open a garage door: I've never had a car or a garage, so... My parents now have a modern garage, but the 100+-year old one I grew up with had side-sliding barn-style doors. I've always known how to open a barn.

  • How to use a dishwasher: In my role as a pastry assistant, I often filled in for our dishwashers when they were sick or on break, but professional models are so different and so much more powerful than home units. Honestly, I've pretty much avoided using the thing because it's faster and easier to do it by hand. 

  • What a water softener looks: like I was recently asked to get some information off the side of the water softener in the basement, and there was a lot of wandering around and wondering what such a thing could possibly look like. 

  • How wonderful it is to have a washer and dryer on the premises?: Seriously. 

(Image: Alexis Buryk/Eunice's Clean & Well-Lit Place)

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