Earlier this year, our refrigerator died. I mean, I can't begrudge it for sputtering out. It did serve our family like a champ for nearly 20 years. But die it did. My parents decided that a mini fridge ($78 at Walmart, approx.) would be the best solution they could afford. Luckily, after a month, my sister offered an older, but still full size fridge for free. It was her sister-in-law's and they'd left it behind when they moved. Awesome! I could finally grocery shop for more than 1-2 days at a time!
She did great for a while. Our fruits and veggies stayed super cold, the mayo and cheese stayed un-green, and the milk lasted for it's full expiration without getting chunky. And then, she faltered. She tripped. She started to warm up. We thought at first that it might be because everyone had been cramming her full of left-overs and whatever else they felt needed her cool touch. So I cleaned her out, scrubbed her shelves, and only refilled what was still good AND necessary. I also turned the temperature gauge from a 5 (coldest) to a 3 (middle of the road). And HALLELUJAH! She was pretty chill in the morning.
First, I noticed the smell of slightly souring fruit. Then I noticed the not so cool feel of the lunchmeat when I'd go to prepare T's lunch for work. And then...the cheese. My beautiful, tasty cheese. I LOVE cheese. Ask my sister and she'll tell you the story about the time she babysat me and we sat together and ate the full lb. of Lorraine Swiss that Mom had bought for my lunches. She'll tell you that you can't leave a ball of fresh Mozzarella lying around or it won't be lying around for long. My cheese is something you just don't mess with. So I fiddled with the temperature control, and hoped for the best. At first, things got just the slightest bit cooler.
One night, about a week ago, Dad went to pop his customary bag of popcorn. Instead of the wonderful smell of popcorn and butter, he was greeted with the smell of burning plastic. Our trusty friend, the microwave, had artificially heated it's last bag of popcorn.
*insert voice of the late Billy Mays* But wait! There's more!
We have a gas cooktop. Like just about everything else in this house, it's 20 years old. And the left burner used to be the one I could always count on. It would light on the first try. It would get plenty hot enough, and it was the most even flame you could ask for. And just 2 days ago...it wouldn't light.
Tomorrow, D and I are having a date at Lowe's, to search for a new fridge. And then Walmart for a new microwave...and steel wool scrubber. Merry Thanksgiving to me?
*Edit: Today, D and I braved the already crazy holiday crowds at Walmart (seriously, has everyone forgotten that there are THREE holidays between Labor Day and Christmas?!) and bought a new microwave. Which has turned into D's second favorite toy, right behind Dad's ladder