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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Camping out at home

Yesterday, the refrigerator died. It wasn't a sudden death. It had been ailing and giving us warnings for about a month, which we hopefully and delusionally ignored. "Maybe it is just a glitch?....Maybe it will get better if we just crank the dial to the coldest setting."

The first warning signs were the juice bars becoming a bit slushy. Or maybe the ice in the icemaker periodically slightly melting and reforming into a block of ice. The ice cream was soft....but .....hey.... I kind of like my ice cream soft.

Well, all the ignoring and pretending has brought us to this. We are camping out in our house for the next couple of weeks, until we can get to an appliance store or get the repairman to come up from the 'big city'.

After The Dumbplumber determined that the compressor was dead, dead, double dead, we had to move all items from the freezer to the big freezer in the shop and from the refrigerator side to the small refrigerator in the shop. Thank God we have backups. Once of which is an almost 40 year old Montgomery Wards upright freezer that hasn't missed a beat since it was plugged in. So much for our new and improved Energy Star pieces of crap that the government insists we have to purchase.

In a way it was like an embarrassing archeological dig. "Wow....I didn't know we had THREE half filled jars of grated horseradish and two opened bottles of sweet pickle relish. And how old IS this cheese.???"

I guess this is one way to completely clean the refrigerator, however.....I can think of more preferred (and less expensive) ways than having my refrigerator die.

Because these next 12 days are completely booked with business trips and my mother-in-law's 80th birthday party in Oregon and the closest appliance store is about 90 miles away, we are just going to have to make do with ice chests on the back deck for items we need immediately and the back up appliances in the shop.

No more automatic ice maker for now, so we break out the trusty vintage West Bend Penguin Hot Cold ice bucket (also good for keeping biscuits do it know!?!?) and fill it full of ice from the chest so we can still be civilized and have our cocktails.

Just like the good old days when all people had was an ice box.....with nothing but ice to keep things cool. When you lose an amenity like refrigeration, electricity or hot water on demand for a while, you do appreciate just how much we have in our lives. The luxuries that were unthinkable just a generation ago that we take so much for granted. Luxuries that are really quite fragile. We should be more grateful for our lives.