THE FREE REFRIGERATOR

The big white patch on top is actually a “white board” on which we write messages to ourselves and each other. A small, useful kitchen item

As soon as we knew Owen had confirmed the movers, We had to empty out the old refrigerator and I was thinking “Great. It’s winter so we can put most of the refrigerated food out on the deck. Glad we don’t have bears.” For the freezer stuff that wouldn’t fit into Owen’s freezer downstairs, I used thermal bags and as many cold packs as I was able to unearth from the freezer.

That was the beginning. Because underneath the fridge — which we really did clean and not all that long ago — a vast amount of dirt had accumulated. So much of it was (sigh) dog hair. We cleaned. Garry vacuumed, then I scrubbed the floors in the kitchen and both upstairs bathrooms and Garry vacuumed.

We were falling down exhausted. That was a lot of work for a couple of arthritic seniors but y’gotta do what y’gotta do, right? We were on a roll and if we stopped, we knew we wouldn’t start again. Now or never.

All of this was about getting a free and relatively new — expensive — fridge which was in storage. It was a very expensive refrigerator and had been used for barely two years. Owen’s boss said we could have. It had taken us weeks to find people to move it because official “professional” movers wanted more money than it would cost us to buy a new refrigerator.

A few days ago Owen called and said: “Eureka!! I have movers!” Two young, smart guys whose day job is running a canine day care center. The Duke found them very interesting and had to do some serious sniffing.

Saturday was moving day. It was supposed to be a simple job. Move the new fridge from where Owen works (about five miles) to our place. They had to remove the old fridge and leave it in the driveway from whence the electric company would come to take it away and will even pay us for it. Then move the new one up and slide it into the same spot.

A few minor details arose. There was no way to get the new fridge into the house except by removing the stair climber and its chair . The doors to the fridge had to come off too because it wouldn’t get through the front door. No, that’s not exactly true. It would come in, but it wouldn’t turn so you could get it up the stairs.

Owen had measured everything, so we were really sure It would fit. Except he didn’t do his usual quality work on the measuring. Not merely did he fail to allow for the trim on the newer refrigerator, he also didn’t measure for height.

I looked at the fridge and my mind did its own measuring. It was not going to fit. “Did you measure for height?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “Aren’t they are all the same height?”

NOT. Moreover, even after removing the stair climber and rail and discovering the appliance dolly would not work (too big with fridge attached), I found an old dog blanket and the fridge got schlepped up the stairs.

It didn’t fit width or height-wise. Major recalculation. The refrigerator would have to go where the table was and all the stuff and the table have to go somewhere else. The shelf that holds all the big containers of spice had to move to where the old refrigerator was and the table was going somewhere, but not the kitchen because there was absolutely no place to put it. It turns out it will fit nicely in the dining room against the window wall and I can use the space. More room for orchids!

All the baking stuff — the pink sugar, the white and brown flour had to go on the shelf where the removed cookbooks were. I got rid of about 20 pounds of cookbooks I never used. I got rid of the “natural food” cookbook because all its recipes were awful and kale-based. After getting rid of the cookbooks I don’t use, there was room for everything, including those big baking containers. Hosanna!

Garry’s baseball picture collection is still homeless, but I think some picture juggling in the dining room will take up the slack.

By the time we had put all the food back in the newer refrigerator, and cleaned up the mess that was under the shelf and the table, we were all too tired to see straight. We were still exhausted when we got up this morning. I took a really long hot shower — then cleaned the shower so Garry wouldn’t have to do it — and Owen and I did some more rearranging, swapping the countertop cooker with the breadbox (more cleaning), but things were beginning to fall into place.

There was a cabinet over the old fridge we never used because only Owen could reach it. Suddenly, we had an empty cabinet. In it went the winter holiday dishes that get used once or twice a year, assuming we have the right number of people (it only serves 6), the Duke’s car harness and the hook so it attached to the seatbelt clamp. And I discovered a set of popover containers — brand new — just waiting for use!

So now, with the new stove, the new-er refrigerator (which is half again bigger than the one we had). I gave those lads an extra $150 tip because not only did they do what they were paid to do, they went above and beyond. Smart too. Able to figure out wiring, to take things apart and put them back together. You don’t get moving people like that very often. I was grateful enough to pay them for the extra effort. I would have given them more, but by then — between the initial price for their work plus another $150 and the price of the truck we rented (lucky thing Owen’s place rents U-Haul’s!)(no, he doesn’t get a discount but it was very convenient) — we were running out of money.

Everything is falling into place. It’s weird how adding one really huge appliance made the kitchen feel so much bigger. Reorganizing, getting rid of stuff I don’t use and won’t ever use didn’t hurt either — and of course removing the small table and putting it where I can use it was a big improvement. And then, there was the cleaning.

There is a moral to this, which is simple, basic, and we’ve all heard it before.

Nothing is free. Whatever it is, you’ll pay something. It might not be money, but there’s always a price. In this case, it was a lot more work (AND more money) than we expected, but I think the results make it worthwhile.



Categories: #Food, Anecdote, baking, Cooking, Family, House and home, Recipes

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13 replies

  1. I am glad you now have a newer working fridge! ๐Ÿ˜€
    But OMG! All that work!
    No wonder you were exhausted! I would’ve been too if I did all of what you had to do!
    Xoxo

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  2. This is a a really cool refrigerator.

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    • Yes, it really is and it’s huge — easily twice the size of the one we had before. So in the end, Owen’s miscalculation was a benefit because we completely reorganized the room and it feels so much more spacious. You wouldn’t think adding a huge appliance would make a room feel bigger, but it really does.

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  3. How big is that fridge? It looks enormous.

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  4. Goodness — you are gradually renovating the entire house! The fridge looks great — just as if it belongs there!

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    • Even the dings and scratches look right at home. We had fun attaching all the magnets to cover some of the scratches. It is a lot better a machine than we would have EVER been able to afford, and it’s so quiet. Soundless. None of the standard dull roar you normally hear.

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