Modern appliances: Oh, how we take them for granted.
Need light? Flip a switch.
A hot shower? Turn a knob.
Want something cold to drink? Open the fridge.
Not at my house.
For almost two weeks, I've been without refrigeration. During that time, I’ve come to appreciate that cube of metal in my kitchen much more than ever before.
It all started two Mondays ago, when my husband reached for a glass of milk before bedtime.
“Did you leave the milk out this afternoon? It’s kind of warm," he asked.
“No,” I replied from the bedroom where I was packing our suitcase for a trip to Frankfort the next morning, “You probably did.”
The next morning we left early, grabbing breakfast on the way out of town without giving our refrigerator a thought.
When we returned home late Wednesda,y Carl reached into the fridge again, this time for some cold water. Again came a question from the kitchen. “Did you just fill up the Brita? It’s pretty warm,” he said.
“I don’t think so,” I replied, thinking nothing of it again.
The next morning we left the house before dawn and got brunch at a restaurant. I went to work, he went home.
It wasn’t until he got home from the grocery store with supplies for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, when Carl opened the freezer and discovered what we should have suspected days earlier. Our fridge had stopped working.
After our meal, we had a not-so-romantic husband and wife discussion about buying a new appliance. We settled on a budget, a list of needs and measured the fridge’s spot in the kitchen.
Carl would research them online, narrow it down and on Sunday we’d go store to store to eyeball them, compare prices and make a decision. We’d have a fridge by Monday!
HA! What a learning experience we were in for.
Not only are refrigerators WAY more expensive than we thought, who knew you can’t buy a fridge and get it delivered the next day?! That turned out to be the least of our problems, however.
When delivery morning finally arrived last Wednesday, Carl began the process of rearranging the house to ensure an easy delivery and removal of our old fridge. On a whim, he measured the doorways and discovered our new appliance wasn’t going to fit through them.
New refrigerators, it turns out, have very different dimensions than older ones.
What came next should be set to circus music.
It involved phone calls to the shipper, trips to the store, a half dozen phone calls to the bank, then a trip to every store in three towns. Then more phone calls, lots of waiting, even more calling and even more waiting.
Finally, last Saturday afternoon, our rejected new refrigerator was officially returned and another smaller, new refrigerator was purchased and on its way to us. Delivery date: Today!
After two weeks of eating out and keeping a few items cold on our back porch in a collection of coolers, today feels almost like Christmas morning!
I can’t wait to go grocery shopping after work. I might even kiss our refrigerator goodnight after pouring a cool glass of water for my bedside.
Or, like that television commercial, I might find myself flipping the lights on and off just to revel in the surprise of finding a working, modern marvel in my kitchen.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2653.