Going With The Flow

Photo by Susan Crossett

There’s a big black thing in my kitchen. It’s new — and I don’t like it.

In all fairness, it was desperately needed and I was happy when my new side-by-side freezer-refrigerator finally arrived. My old one (I didn’t think it was that old; I clearly recall the day I bought it) died on Saturday. A slow, lingering death.

I fear I had become a hoarder and both sides were chock full. There was — fortunately — room in a second freezer for all the frozen food (though I hear it grumbling now and shudder). The fridge was more of a problem. Two loads went to the home of a friend. I had acquired a small tiny campus-size unit that only laziness prevented me from trying to sell many years ago. Moved near a plug and hooked up (at 3:30 a.m.), it did work but every trip (dog and cat food, breakfast and lunches, not so much dinners) meant the stairs to the basement and back up again. Each time I opened its door, it fell off. I see more humor in it now that I did then. (And continue to marvel at the solid block of butter hidden far back that had to have been 25 years old. No, I did not keep it.)

The nicest repairman was so apologetic when he came Monday. I might have hoped for a simple repair but we don’t expect that any more at all. Dead as a doornail with no hope of resuscitation. He was very nice about cleaning up the mice (equally dead) underneath and taking them and much accumulated debris away.

Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t find that the nicest place for a mouse (or more) to go to expire. I suspect Gloria chased them under there (well, I know she has for I’ve seen her do it) and they were either partially damaged or died waiting for her to go away.

Mice have been a real problem for me lately. I spent one long day at the car repair station while major wiring had to be replaced. Definitely mice for they left nests and food. I didn’t find that necessary either.

The two deliverymen who brought my new appliance couldn’t have been more congenial either. They admired the rubber plant and the banana trees (but wouldn’t take them when I offered) and even caught and safely released a lovely little house wren. My family disappeared or grew silent long ago so that was another surprise.

I am grateful it’s up and running and my food is once again safe. I suspect it was some ham, growing older with all those trips down and back up, that caused Minor’s stomach upset. He’s good now and I’ve learned his stomach might be a bit more sensitive to some things than mine. (He eats a great many things I wouldn’t dream of touching.)

No, this thing is lovely. Its insides are shiny and clean, always nice to have (and I didn’t always). The inexperienced gal who designed the kitchen didn’t think about door openings when the island was sketched in. Last time ’round, I opted for a bottom freezer, then quickly realized it couldn’t be opened wide enough to be of any use. Same with the fridge part if the freezer’s on top. So side-by-side it has to be. One just waiting for me on the display floor and early next morning it was here.

But here with a huge mouth on the left side, a “mouth” where the ice and water come out. But I don’t want an ice maker. I never have. It was a conscious decision from the time the house was built. I refill the ice cube trays every lunchtime when I change Minor’s water bowl. I know what they say about drinking lots of water (or has that now been debunked as unnecessary as well?) but I drink none except for a glass at bedtime. A plastic bottle suits me just fine. I might refill it every four or five days.

Make a note to tell whoever lives here after I’m gone that the danged thing is useless. Useless — but also taking up a large amount of my freezer space. The insides could be removed (I asked) but there would be nothing to fill that 14-plus inches of gaping space.

And I have spent far too much time on the internet to learn what I’d been told at the store: they don’t make them without anymore. I suspect there are going to be more and more offended old-timers as their current appliances die. And they will.

Me? I’ve already called the plumber. Installing the water shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

Susan Crossett has lived outside Cassadaga for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. “Her Reason for Being” was published in 2008 with “Love in Three Acts” following in 2014. Both novels are now available at Lakewood’s Off the Beaten Path bookstore. Information on all the Musings, her books and the author may be found at Susancrossett.com.