Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Meaning of a Refrigerator

About 6 months ago, my family moved from the house we’d been renting for 8 years to a new house. The new house is double the size of the old one and we were thrilled with the house. It’s an older house with quite a few quirks. One such quirk was an eyesore of a hot tub on the back patio. It was not only old but also the home to a dead animal of some sort. The landlord most decidedly wanted the hot tub gone and had every intention of removing it...eventually. After being in the home for about a month, we removed it ourselves. We don’t dally.

The house has been a wonderful place to gather friends. It’s a wonderful party house. We’ve been having so much fun in this new house. As you probably know the kitchen is the center of any home. It’s the gathering place and the place warmth in a home. So when we discovered after a couple of months that the refrigerator that was no doubt really expensive when purchased had multiple issues, it became an annoyance.

At first the fridge not only didn’t produce ice and water but it also leaked water from the bottom. We just unhooked the water supply and decided we’d deal. Next we discovered that the freezer didn’t actually freeze. Well, the top half didn’t anyways. We couldn’t even use ice trays in it because they wouldn’t freeze. The bottom half would sometimes freeze. Luckily, we have an upright freezer in the garage. So anyways, we got use to it. We used the garage freezer. We bought a container to put water in the fridge so that we could have cold drinking water. We used the top half of the freezer for bread and things that didn’t need to necessarily freeze. We learned to adjust our expectations of a fridge.

Until...the fridge stopped closing. And by stopped I mean the interior of the fridge was somehow freezing and forcing the shelves forward making it impossible to keep the door closed. How does one adjust to that? I didn’t have an extra garage fridge. Just this one that refused to stay closed. So I removed the offending shelf. We moved groceries around. Forcing them into every inch of space that was available without smashing anything. We took off the door and tried to remount it to see if we could somehow force it to stay closed. And that worked for a bit.

Then the veggie drawer was being pushed forward and it cause the door to open again.

I’m a really patient person. I mean really patient. But I will admit that I spent many moments mentally swearing at the fridge. I slammed the door. I yelled at it. I did everything possible. It was a point of stress in the center of my gathering place. My home was at least once per day the scene of an unhappy mom. We’d have people over and they had to slam the door after getting water. So stressful. An embarrassment.

It wasn’t just a fridge. It was a point of stress. It was attacking my home. My peace. My way of providing for my family was being attacked. We had literally done everything to appease the piece of junk. I’m editing here because the words that come to mind aren’t necessarily kind and generous words that one would expect from a lady.

My husband removed the veggie drawer. And then it stayed closed. But seriously though, what is the point of a refrigerator if not to contain your food that needs to stay fresh. Shouldn’t it be an obvious thing that you can see what food you have purchased and stored in there. Instead, to open the door and see all the food piled up in what can only be described as the leaning tower of produce, it’s obnoxious to say the least. I think that was the final straw.

Because on Saturday, we searched Craigslist. We weren’t going to put up with it any more. The amount of food that has gone bad since using this fridge could feed us for at least another week. After a couple of failed attempts, we decided to try the Salvation Army store. They were having a 50% off sale. We got a “new” fridge for $90! No bells and whistles. No ice maker. No water in the door. Just a regular old side by side refrigerator.

After much ado, it was installed into our kitchen. It works and the food is visible. The freezer freezes. The water container makes the water so cold that I have to mix it with tap water :) I have ice trays filled with ice right now. It does what a refrigerator is suppose to do.

I realized that a refrigerator isn’t just a refrigerator. I mean it is but in this case it was a point of stress. If it works it’s great. If it doesn’t, it’s just a thing that is needling at you.

It’s not always a refrigerator, though, you know?

Maybe in your life it’s something else. Maybe it’s a thing or maybe it’s a relationship. But until it’s dealt with it’s just a point of stress. I don’t know. I just feel this sense of calm now. And it’s not just the refrigerator. But it’s definitely a big part of it. When I walk into the kitchen now, the space is bigger. I don’t have to worry that the food is going to be spoiled. I can be assured that the door is closed. I don’t have to be concerned about providing food for my family because something isn’t working.

I feel like the fridge is a symbol of something at the center of my home. A part of the heart of my home. And now it’s a point of peace, instead of stress. It works like it’s suppose to. It’s doing what it is intended to do and I don’t have to think about it anymore. Isn’t that always the way of things? One thing is out of whack and it just messes with your peace. Don’t wait to deal with things. If there is something that’s a point of stress, stop working around it. Deal with it! It’s not always an easy thing to do but you’ll feel better when it’s dealt with.

So, anyways. That’s what’s been happening in our neck of the woods.