To say that this past trip north has been stressful would be a magnificent understatement. The journey started out smoothly enough...I was only fifteen minutes late picking Neal up from work and Poppy only cried this time from Warner Robins to Atlanta...which is preferable to her crying from Warner Robins to Chattanooga. As usual, Lulu was asleep before we ever got off base. It's amazing how different sisters can be, even when they are of the feline species. I accidentally picked an exit with a Panera which meant I got to have their apple walnut salad instead of that disease-in-a-bowl that Wendy's tries to sell to the unsuspecting public. And we walked in the back door of Chez Vacation at 12:15 AM...only fifteen minutes past ETA....
Except that we walked into a warm and, unpleasantly, humid house. It had been almost a month since our last trip up but we both agreed that we remembered setting the thermostat to something other than Louisiana Swamp. Something was not right. While Neal checked the breaker box and flipped switches to God knows what on the furnace panel, I emptied the contents of our travel cooler into the fridge...the very warm, very not cold refrigerator. Wait, let me be more specific...the 7-year old, Jenn-Air, stainless steel refrigerator was not cold. Seven years old. My cats have outlived this refrigerator. In fact, the only thing this refrigerator has outlasted is my tenure at each of my 32 jobs and Lindsay Lohan's time in jail. The AC finally kicked on that night, but the refrigerator just sat there like the hulking dish cabinet it had become.
The next morning, Neal unplugged it and then plugged it back in. Lo and behold, it worked! The motor whirred to life and cold air shot from the vents. Hallelujah, we sang, as we did a victory dance around the kitchen island. Exactly 24 hours later, as I was shoving Fazoli's into my piehole and discussing wedding flowers with BFF Curly Sue, the damn thing just stopped. I sat at my beautiful new high-top dining room furniture and listened for any sound of life from Jenn-Crap. Nothing. I called a place who sent a man with a clipboard and a screwdriver. Seven minutes later he declared the compressor ruined and suggested a $900 fix. I stifled my laugh and wrote him a check for his time and expertise (a check that Neal is still grumbling about...perhaps he should learn to fix refrigerators instead of drive tanks...).
We spent our Anniversary Do-Over on Sunday looking for a new refrigerator. Ironically, the 4th anniversary gift is appliances. Or linen. Linen if you're a traditionalist, appliances if you want to get the diamond a lot earlier than the golden 50th (and I'm a realist...that would make Neal 87. We are going the Modern road). I thought we had bought each other Droid X's. Apparently, it was Droid X's and a Samsung french-door refrigerator. Happy Anniversary to us! I've been waiting for it to arrive for approximately 3 days now and I've learned the following things about myself regarding refrigeration:
1. I could never be French. Going to the store everyday is exhausting and time-consuming...even if I can almost see it from my house. Granted, my vegetables are not fresh off the truck, but I have a horrible habit of looking for signs of mold before diving into leftovers. So maybe fresh is not particularly important to me.
2. When you are operating out of a dorm fridge, it brings into focus what you deem valuable enough to occupy prime real estate. I, for example, have a 3-pack of egg substitute, a package of buffalo chicken deli meat, a container of hummus, a bottle of International Delight creamer, 2 beers, and a bottle of champagne.
3. You never know how much you enjoy...how much you need ice until it's no longer an option. I realize the British have been doing this for years, but what is the point of having iced tea without ice? How can you put a bottle of champagne on ice without ice? If I fell down the stairs and sprained my ankle, I would have to run it under cold water and hope that kept the swelling down. And nothing freezes ice like a freezer...no matter how much you pray over the ice tray and dorm fridge.
What I'm saying is, we have come a long way since the invention of refrigeration and I'm pretty sure that any cavewoman or frontier cowgirl tendencies I may have had at birth are long gone. Mama needs something with twin cooling, a separate drawer for her wine, and an endless supply of ice!