As I hung up another load of laundry to dry, I was thankful. After 2 weeks washing things by hand in a hotel sink and waiting 4 days for them to dry draped in the bathroom, having a washing machine and lots of space with access to open windows for things to dry in a day seems like a luxury.
It also made me thankful for that time in the hotel. No, it wasn't fun. Yes, I wished time and again for a regular washing machine and dryer. But it gave me perspective, and helped me be thankful. If we'd come straight to the apartment, I'd probably be more inclined to be grumpy that this washing machine is half the size of ones in the US and there's no dryer to be found anywhere. We as humans are pretty good at complaining, aren't we?
Though moving to China is full of changes and things we're doing without - big on the list right now is an oven - it's also made me realize how much we have to be grateful for, that so much of the world doesn't have. We have A/C, though they're simple units in each room. We have hot water and a shower that feels so good at the end of a sticky day of walking through the streets - we don't have to bathe with a bucket! We have a refrigerator, and we have a stove, gas powered though it is. We have beds and couches and tables and chairs and a few dishes and sharp knives already in our apartment for our use.
I know I won't always feel thankful. I'll be tempted to complain about such things as the "hardship" of finding cheese and butter at a decent price. So when I do, I hope I'll remember this. We have so much to be thankful for.