by Kevin Burton
It’s a little-known fact that the stork who brings babies also delivers kitchen appliances.
We’re having a stork visit of the appliance variety next week. We are replacing the old refrigerator. My emotions are decidedly mixed.
One of the few bright spots to come from our emergency trip to Hutchinson in April, when Jeannette’s mother broke her hip, was that while we all waited for the surgery, I had a long visit with my brother-in-law and learned that, in some areas, we think alike.
Here is one of the areas: He already has and I will have as of next week, a new refrigerator that wasn’t really needed. We both had working appliances that kept food cold. We both are of a mind that the old one needs to be replaced when it gives up the ghost and not before. Any time you extend the life cycle of a major appliance that is a fiscally sound thing to do.
And in our case, we would not be risking losing food if we waited for the old fridge to die because we have a freezer we got from my mother and another fridge in the garage.
But the women of both houses had their say, and what can I say? We’ve blocked out a day on the calendar for the stork visit. Congratulations are in order.
My wife and I both dislike the old fridge, to that extent we are in agreement. The difference is in the degree. My level of discomfort is equal to having a hangnail. Her level of pain is like having a bad tooth that flares up two or three times a day.
“The fridge we have now came with the house,” Jeannette said. “It was old then, seventeen years ago.”
The fridge doesn’t spew parts quite like that Volkswagen monstrosity vehicle my wife (and I) bought right after we got married. I always blame her (unfairly) for buying the Passat.
You can’t even say Passat without sounding like you’re spitting.
Anyway, the old fridge doesn’t spew parts on that scale, but there have been a few.
There was a shelf on the door that if you looked at it wrong would fall off, depositing whatever was on it on the floor.
I got really sick of that. When it got to the point where I stopped picking things up Jeannette removed the shelf altogether.
The sight lines in the old fridge are such that it is easy to push a little container of leftovers to the back, not be able to see it, and forget it until the food grows technicolor mold that looks like weather radar.
The ice maker/water dispenser functions have been a key element in our search for a new fridge. That’s the first thing Jeannette mentions about getting a new one. If a model didn’t have that, or had it in the wrong place, it was crossed off the list.
Jeannette says the ice maker/water dispenser on the fridge we have now haven’t worked in about five years. I didn’t notice when they gave out because I never used them.
Since we brought cars into this discussion, I must admit that having this 1991 model refrigerator is like driving a station wagon with wood paneling on the side. Remember those?
Plus, it sits right next to a sharp-looking black and silver oven. So it stands out in a bad way.
It will be fun over the next week, to finish the leftovers little by little and see the fridge get increasingly empty, sort of like emptying an apartment you’re moving out of. However it could be quite a shock to see what is hidden in its deepest reaches.
“What would you think about using the old fridge for a flowerpot?” Jeannette said.
“That would be very Oklahoma,” I said, “but what about as a mini garden in the back yard?”
We think we were joking. If not, we have about a week to figure it out. As things stand now we’re paying the stork $40 to haul off the old refrigerator.
“As much as I am going to enjoy the new fridge, the old one is almost like an old friend,” Jeannette said. “Almost, not quite.”
An old friend maybe, an acquaintance, but certainly not a bestie. So we have agreed to part with it.
So hey, if you’re anywhere near Wichita and you need a fridge, make us an offer. It’s the ugliest station wagon fridge you’ll ever see, but it keeps food cold.
“At least it’s not avocado,” Jeannette said.