Tuesday, September 13, 2011

These Trials Are Sent To Test Us

This afternoon, I opened my freezer and a lot of liquid splashed onto the floor and onto my feet. Startling. It looked to be water from melted ice and some purple juice from a huge bag of frozen blueberries. Except the blueberries weren't frozen anymore. It was 38 degrees in the freezer and a pleasantly cool 46 in the fridge. What the what? I swear that just this morning, everything was fine inside there. I mean, I didn't look at the thermometer display, but my half-n-half felt cool. Coolish. I mean, I don't know, I was more focused on the coffee.

As I write this, it is 69 degrees in that box.

I slammed the freezer door, much like you would slam a coffin lid if you'd just opened it to reveal the daytime resting place of Nosferatu. I said some ugly but necessary words and started mopping the floor with a beach towel. Then I opened the freezer door again and more goo dripped out. More mopping. And fear set in. WHAT DID IT MEAN?

I recalled that one time this thing in the back of the fridge got dusty and that we cleaned it with this really weird brush on a long bendy wire. I wasted no time in hollering for Matt to please come and pull the fridge out of its little alcove and do the thing with the brush. Which he did. But the thing in the back wasn't all that dusty. I had pinned my hopes on dusting that thing with the brush and it didn't look like it was going to make any difference. Matt pushed the fridge back in.

During a lot of this I was kind of wailing. Like, not crying, but sort of vocalizing through the pain. Like, "Oh no, why is it doing that, what do you think, what are we going to do, this is not good, what in the hecks, craaaaaaap, did you say a flat head screwdriver?"

Once the heavy lifting was finished, Matt went back down to the basement to work and left me to deal with the emotional aftermath.

I don't know, when something goes wrong in the house, it gives me a momentary crazy dread. One of my first blog posts ever was about this. For just a second, I panic. Like, my frozen organic berries are thawing out and we will all probably die alone.

Part of the emotional context of this moment is that I've been counting calories the last few weeks, or really now it's counting proteins, fats, and carbs. Whatever, zzzzz. But I have a more, like, deliberate relationship with food and nutrition throughout the day. The foods that work for me--my Greek yogurt, my hummus, my baby carrots--feel like my friends. And my friends were in trouble. (I know, see? Crazy.)

I steeled myself to open up the doors again and was disappointed to see that both compartments had actually gotten warmer. I threw away some things. Then I got reusable shopping bags and loaded them up with everything salvageable. I schlepped it all downstairs and crammed it in the NEW AND WORKING FRIDGE IN THE BASEMENT. Oh yeah. Well there is that. Awful convenient to have that.

But still! Still! If I want something that's kept refrigerated I have to go down there where all those boys are working and get it. Then I have to either use it there or bring it upstairs and then take it back. Insupportable, GAH.

I took a break from my cursing and schlepping to pick up Laura from school, where she had stayed late for chorus. On the way home, I filled her in on the fridge situation. She said, "It will be like Little House on The Prairie where they pack ice in cedar shavings. Or like in the Boxcar Children where they kept their food cold by putting it behind a waterfall."

Yes, we are just like the Boxcar Children.

I called a guy and he is coming tomorrow. Fingers crossed that the fix will be quick and cheap. Because obviously we cannot go on this way.


Amy said...

Oh, these trial-y trials! They will make you stronger, I know.

I get the same sense of dread. For me, it's mostly in the summer when I know it's going to be an exceptionally hot day. Since we have no A/C, I get all stressed: Grace won't be able to nap and will be cranky and then we'll all be sweating and cranky and then no one will sleep ever again and we will all die. Like that.

I LOL'ed fer reals when I read the part about the working fridge! Yes, your baby carrots will be lonely without you. But hopefully the separation won't last long. It's like Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble..." ;)

Becky said...

Oh, mos def, hot house+no nap=we are dead men walking.

And the carrots, that's it, THEY'RE JUST BABIES!

Amy said...



Elizabeth said...

You know, we've got some real problems around these parts, but I affirm that appliance trouble really gets to me, too.

I'm serious. I like to call it bourgeois complaining, but it strikes terror into my own heart.

Beth said...

I will pray for your fridge and anxiously await the reunion with the baby carrots.

Hootie said...

I gotta be honest with you... and I recognize that I'm tempting fate by admitting this... but I sort of welcome appliance trouble. It gives me the opportunity to bust out my crude stone tools and fix stuff. Although a fridge might be too advanced, I like cracking open the dishwasher/washing machine/HVAC/toilet/etc. and playing doctor. I mean, I'm probably not going to break it any further, and when else does modern man get a chance to play the hero? Luckily, Brenda plays the role of suitably impressed spouse when I actually repair something. It works for us. (Although I also recognize that there's something heroic about writing a check to a qualified fridge repairman.)

Common Household Mom said...

My very first blog post was about head lice. At our house we don't need to wait for appliances to break to feel dread. Dread arrives whenever anybody scratches their head.

Amy said...

Oh, CHM that is where I'm living right now. Amen!!

Marsha said...

I am with you, sister.

Only it's my dishwasher. From what I can gather (I've been too busy getting dishpan hands and fainting delicately to pay much attention) there is a "mother board" on back order and it will be free since the machine is only a month out of warranty. But where is it? No one knows. Meanwhile, this isn't doing my manicure any favors.

It's been three weeks.

AlGalMom said...

This reminded me of the time my husband was out of the country and our downstairs toilet exploded all over the place. Normally that fills me with dread (and whining) but this happened right after the earthquake in Haiti, and I found myself mopping up the mess and being overwhelmed with gratefulness that I even had a toilet to overflow. And that our plumber (Greg the Plumber! All of the housewives in East Central Indiana swoon over him, and not romantically. He is simply a superhero in plumbers' clothing) was on the way, and it would be fixed. It was crazy, but it seriously made my entire day to have that toilet overflow--I have never been more aware of how lucky I am to be living the life that I have. (A year later our master bathroom toilet overflowed while my husband was traveling and I was back to cursing-while-mopping. Sadly, it was not a life-changing mountaintop experience.)

My Kids' Mom said...

hmm, when I had that experience, the repair guy looked at it for two minutes and then turned to me and said "What color do you want for your new fridge?" This was a week before xmas too. Not happy.

Casey said...

Gah! That is terrible. We went through that with our fridge at the old house. I panicked and went online and paid a couple hundred dollars for the extended warranty. Then we left it unplugged overnight and it worked the next day. I guess the coils (or whatever fridges use) got frozen and defrosting it fixed the issue. Maybe give that a try?

Good luck.

Becky said...

AlGal, if only every exploding toilet could lead to a moment like that! I know exactly what you mean though. After something bad happens, the ordinary is so welcome, even if it's an annoying task. Totally.

Marsha. OMG THREE WEEKS?!? We need to organize some kind of letter writing campaign or viral social media protest. That is beyond.

The Stiletto Mom said...

Same thing happened to us. The popsiicles? Were like arrows of death when I opened the fridge. Good luck!!!

laura said...

I hate it when appliances break because usually I had OTHER plans for those C notes. Like multiple pairs of shoes, or airplane tickets, or anything besides a frackin' stove or 'frig or dishwasher. I hope they can fix it.

Jenni said...

Did Laura realize that she was being so funny? That kids is your daughter for sure.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I love the Boxcar Children! Your daughter has fantastic literary taste!