Herald and Journal, May 17, 1999

Oh, happy day - Oh, lucky me


I got a refrigerator for Mother's Day.

Not really, but I am going to count it anyway. I told my daughters that their dad had bought me a $600 Mother's Day gift. I was trying to make them think I had gotten a piece of jewelry or something equally frivolous.

A few days before the "big day," I noticed that our refrigerator was not working very well. The refrigerator was running continuously. The freezer compartment on the top was so warm that the bread in there was soft. I carried everything down to the freezer in the basement.

The next morning I checked the refrigerator again. It was still running continuously. The ice cubes had turned to water. The refrigerator compartment wasn't very cold either.

On a previous frost-free refrigerator we had, an ice buildup would cause the refrigerator to malfunction. I thought maybe turning off the refrigerator and letting it stand for a while would solve the problem. That didn't work.

When Tom came in for lunch, he noticed that I had everything from the refrigerator in coolers.

"I wondered what you were doing when I opened the freezer door and saw only the ice cubes in there," he said.

Now it was Friday afternoon, and we needed either a repairman or a new refrigerator. Since the fridge was about 15 years old, and had seen better days, I preferred a new one. Tom was skeptical.

"Weren't you just telling me a few weeks ago that you wanted a different stove and refrigerator because these are harvest gold?" he asked.

"No, I was just saying how nice it would be to have a different color, and wasn't it odd that we hadn't had trouble with the ice build-up for a long time," I replied.

I couldn't believe that he thought that I would sabotage my own refrigerator. I called St. Boni Farm Store for a repairman. They could not be sure when he would make it out to our place. It would probably be some time later in the afternoon.

We considered the alternatives. We could wait for the repairman or we could go to Sears, Best Buy or Circuit City to get a new fridge. We dug the ads out from the previous Sunday paper to see what prices they had to offer. The ones advertised were either the wrong price, the wrong size, or had the wrong features.

We did not feel like driving down to Ridgedale after milking that night to stalk the elusive refrigerator. I called St. Boni Farm Store again.

"I am looking for an 18 cubic foot refrigerator with no ice maker and these dimensions," I told the sales lady.

Over the phone I bought a new, almond-colored Whirlpool refrigerator. We still had the repairman come out to see what he could do for the old one.

He arrived and was finishing work on it just as the new one was being delivered. The old ugly, yellow one just needed a new fan. The repair cost was about $85.

The delivery guys brought in the new pretty, almond refrigerator. They also hauled the old one out to the pole shed. It will be used there for Tom's diet pop, or the occasional keg of beer when we have a party.

All things considered, I am very happy with my new refrigerator. This year's gift couldn't possibly beat the one Tom brought home the day before Mother's Day about 15 years ago.

There it sat in the driveway. It was brand new, shiny red and black, and it had four wheels. No doubt every farm wife has dreamed of some day owning her very own manure spreader.

Lucky me!

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