What I’m grateful for this year

When my wife and I got married, we pooled our resources and bought the cheapest can opener we could find. It was $1 at the Dollar Store.

It wasn’t long before we realized how lousy a lousy can opener can be. Within weeks, the blade dulled. Within a few months, we’d ever-so-slightly bent the grippers, making it impossible to use the crank to cut the can open. We were left to use the can opener more like a set of wire cutters, clipping cans open all the way around the lid. This took some muscle and a certain amount of finesse. If you didn’t do it right, you weren’t getting those cans opened.

It took about a year and a half, but we finally broke down and bought a new can opener. This time, we splurged on an $8.99 model, nearly nine times what the original cost us.

But we love it. Each time we open a can, we appreciate the opener’s sturdy construction. We appreciate the way the handle cradles in our hands. We appreciate the silky crank that lets us cut lids off like soft butter.

Corny, I know, but that’s what sticks in my mind. We notice it now.

This year, I’m grateful for things like this, like the original can opener, that help me notice the nicer one.