Upon my arrival to the Old World, I've been on the hunt for two things: a set of flannel sheets and a coffee grinder. Turns out this quest (which would be quite easy and inexpensive in the New World) is not for the faint of heart. Now I understand things are different on this island than they are in the States - it is a different country, afterall. Still, I wasn't prepared for what an arduous task this would be. It seems that this is a land of opposites; finding flannel sheets in England is much like finding duvet covers in America - it's possible...they're available...just not incredibly common. While in England, duvet covers abound, but flannel sheets - not so much. And as for the coffee grinder? Well, turns out that's pretty much like searching fo the Holy Grail and I've had to come to terms with the fact that I may never again own one, and may have to use a mallet instead.
This story may seem insignificant and I admit that the objects of my quest are, in the larger picture, just that. But there's an underlying story that I think has some significance, one that I've been spending quite a lot of time giving thought to in the past few weeks; what it is to face change. Apparently there are a few things that stress us unlike anything else: losing a job, the death of a loved one, and moving. Moving! Isn't it amazing that moving is placed on the same emotional level as death? But maybe not. I realize I'm seasoned in this area; having made several long distance moves since I was a very young girl so I may be more calloused than most when it comes to the topic, because it's just been how I've always lived my life. However, I know lots of people who've moved very few times in their lives and their moves typically take place in the same town, certainly the same state. Not many people have moved a distance of 1,000 miles or more away from where they grew up. When I take a minute to put myself in their shoes and think about the my earliest memories of moving I empathize with how difficult it is for some people and how it can be placed on par with losing a job or loved one. And to be honest, my recent travels have challanged my conceptions of being a seasoned mover and what it is to acclamate to big life changes.
Coffee. Flannel sheets. These are simple pleasures. And not having them as readily at my fingertips as I'm used to has caused me to think about other simple pleasures - things that I've never given much thought to in the past but are now magnified by their very absence; things that have made this transition more of a challenge than I've ever experienced in the many moves I've made through my life. Like knowing (automatwithout having to think about it) which direction to look when crossing the street and being able to quickly count change. Or quartered butter, iced tea, half & half, Dairy Queen, baseball, classic rock stations. Simple pleasures - threads, easily taken for granted, which make up the fabric of our lives.