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Search for simplicity

Okay, I'm the first to admit that I like nice things, and that I probably spend more money on a single pair of shoes that some people would spend on three or four pairs. But when you have feet built like mine, you learn that a $30 pair of flats just won't cut it. I recently walked into my favorite sewing machine store and walked out with a computerized, digital sewing machine. We also own (and use) four computers -- two Macs, a Dell, and an HP.

But take a quick walk through my house and you'll notice that a few major appliances are missing because (a) we don't have them or (b) they're so small you missed them. (A) is a dishwasher; we don't have one. Well, actually, we have one and he never breaks down and has no interest in being replaced. (B) is a television. Technically we have one but we don't watch tv shows on it, because (a) it is at least five years old and is your plain old, basic tv (not digital), and (b) we ditched our cable. Hulu gets a lot of our business.

One day, long ago, we decided to buy a larger tv as a surprise Christmas present for all of us. We put it in the back of the car and covered it with a blanket. The girls got in the car, looked at the large lump and said, "New tv, huh?" So much for that surprise. It had all the usual bells and whistles, and could be seen from outside the front window. But it annoyed us. It did exactly what we didn't want it to do -- it took over our lives. It became the focal point of the proverbial "family room". So much for "family" life.

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