When I was 19, I waitressed at a little mom and pop restaurant. I loved this job even though it forced me to climb my butt out of bed before the crack of dawn. I was the opener so that meant I had to be there first thing because breakfast started at 7am. I had an ex-boyfriend who would show up every now and then for breakfast and coffee, just so he could chat with me and the local policeman was a good tipper. On occasion some of my grandfather’s old buddies would come in and fill me with funny stories.
Even though I loved talking with the customers and coming home with money every day, I was envious of the restaurant’s walk in fridge. I loved that thing. Cold as an ice cube and enough room to plan every meal for the next three years. I had visions of Brian and I one day owning a huge house with a wrap around porch, a large oak tree with a tire swing for the kids and giant fridge big enough to fit six people in and all the chocolate, iced tea, and strawberries money could buy.
But life doesn’t always give us what we dream while counting waitress tips. Instead I got a cozy three bedroom bungalow barely big enough to fit 2 kids, let alone four. Enough acres to misplace a kid every now and then, and a kitchen that is the size of my living and dining room put together. (Also called a country kitchen.)
Then two days after I came home from Blissdom, I watched our older hand me down fridge take it’s laaaaast breath and I cried as I threw out homemade chicken stock, ruined cherries from our trees, pureed pumpkin and soups that I had made extra of and froze for the days when Brian needed a fast dinner for work or I didn’t feel like cooking.
It was a Sad. Sad Night. Every time I handed Bug a dish to scrape into the garbage he looked at me and said, “really?” to which I could only reply, “just keep scraping so we can go to bed.”
Probably the only saving grace to that night was the fact that Ohio had turned into a wasteland of snow, ice and below freezing temperatures. I emptied out a tote that had been housing clothes that Shorty had yet to (probably never) grow into and started lining the bottom with ice packs and filling it with every salvageable food item from the fridge. But where to put it? I really didn’t want animals to get into the food by putting it on the back deck (the lid didn’t exactly fit from everything in there) so Bebe suggested that since we keep our drinking water in the front hall, (where it freezes in the middle of winter… which Hey! We happen to be in), why not put the food in there as well.
And so my front hall became somewhat of a high class, redneck walk in refrigerator.
Complete with coats, hats, gloves, toys, an exercise ball, shoes, various pots and dirt for seed starting this spring, and clothes that small people have either outgrown or haven’t grown into yet. And oh yeah, the drinking water. Did I mention that our walk in has not one but TWO entrances? That’s right, you can walk in from the living room or the outside of the house. Perfect for those days when you want a slice of cheese as you walk out the door. We spare no expense or extravagance when it comes to function and style.
I am high class redneck ya’ll. I mean Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies have nothing on me.
And so we lived until Brian and I could make it to Lowes to pick out something that was in our non-existent price range and procceed to argue/discuss why I was having the fridge delivered three days later instead of bringing it home that night and having him and Bug unload it on their own.
Three Words. No More Accidents.
No really, I cannot afford the stress, insanity, or medical bills that could come from Brian attempting to move large objects not even a month after having the pins taken out of his knee. Besides, I like my oldest son and I fear his dad may have killed him if the two of them had to move furniture together. Tempt fate? I think not.
And so I patiently waited until Sunday when the delivery van drove up and two very kind men brought me the what would be the end of my brush with high class redneckness at its best. It was definitely time to go back to a more traditional means of keeping our food cold and besides, the kids had started to refer to the front hall as “the fridge” whenever they needed something to eat from there.
And so while the younger me dreamt of a fancy walk in refrigerator filled with enough food, produce, and goodies to feed a small army, the modern day mom in me knows that walk in refrigerators aren’t all that they are cracked up to be and that I don’t need a fancy walk in refrigerator to feed my small army (just 2 cows, a pig, venison and chest freezer).
Besides, after seeing many a bad sitcom, I did have a small fear of getting locked in one and yes, my children thought it was funny to lock the deadbolt whenever I went to get the milk.