Home ownership is one of the coolest things. I think back to Morganton and all the times Theon’s dog would shit on our back porch, the one neighbor KORN! (name given to him based on a sticker on his junker pick-up truck; we had no idea what his real name was) nearly beating our door down either trying to break in or just acting out his lack of anger management, and the insane lack of trick-or-treaters we’d get on Halloween. I also think back to the apartment in Oak Ridge where we lived next door to a medication-dependent lady who was often off her meds with her mentally unstable and shady boyfriend and below a lady that tossed remnants of biscuits, waffle fries, and for some reason powdered donuts and pineapple rings from her second-story door into the yard by our window. Apartment living sucked.
We no longer have to worry about our neighbors bothering us (at least in the same ways), we have our own yard for our dogs to run in, we get a very nice number of trick-or-treaters around Halloween, and I can basically turn my music up as loud as I want and come and go as I please without having a nosy neighbor looking to get gossip out of me. It’s only when stuff breaks that I start longing for the days of the apartment. It’s been much too hot to mow the yard lately, an issue an apartment dweller never has to deal with, and when an appliance goes out it’s up to you (and your bank account) to get on it or else do without. That can be a serious bummer.
I noticed this week that while the bottom shelves of my freezer still housed frozen food, the top two shelves housed merely cold food and my refrigerator was becoming increasingly warm. I checked the few things I knew to check but couldn’t seem to make any sense of it. With my recent success of fixing our heat pump, our fence, and our garage door opener I figured I could probably research it a little bit and find out what was wrong with my refrigerator pretty quick so I hit the internet and found…
…That the symptoms my refrigerator had could be caused by a malfunction of, literally, every piece that makes up the appliance. My fridge was broken. I needed to call someone.
"Is your refrigerator running?" "LOLNo"
— justin firefly (@justintfirefly) June 26, 2015
The specialist that came out on Thursday took less than 2 seconds to diagnose my problem: a bad defrost timer. Since the timer wasn’t working, the defroster would never kick in, so the coils froze over, rendering the appliance unable to produce freezing air. I was grateful the gentleman would be able to get the piece I needed in short order and be back the next day to install it for me but that also meant that we needed to defrost the freezer, which then means we had to get everything out that would spoil.
We made a project out of it and tossed the bags of now-thawed salmon, tilapia and shrimp. There was a single spicy Italian sausage that had thawed and laid in the door slumped over behind some cranberry juice concentrate I can’t remember buying. We salvaged the milk, OJ, butter, yogurt, a few waffles, and the cheese in the beer fridge behind the bar in the den (thankful it was empty for a change) and was actually pleased we were in such desperate need of going to the grocery because there was actually very little in the fridge and freezer. We held on to the few things that didn’t really require refrigeration and allowed the thawing process to begin.
In the end the guy was out on Friday afternoon with the correct part, installed it in minutes, took my check and was out the door, leaving behind a refrigerator and freezer that was happily humming along, full of cold air and some apples we left in the bottom drawer.
ASIDE: I’d like to quickly add here that our appliance repairman, John, told me a pretty awesome story today about living in Colorado when he was younger and being a part-owner of a movie theater. He talked about how most people complain about the cost of a soda or popcorn at the movies but they don’t understand that that’s how the theater makes money. Studios like Paramount take as much as 90% of box office revenue leaving the theater to make the bulk of its money off concessions. He confessed that there’s still a pretty wild mark-up, mostly on sodas and popcorn since those are the items that will sell almost every time – to illustrate he said a bag of popcorn seeds would cost the theater $13 but they would end up making $500 or $600 from the product it yielded. That’s impressive! What’s equally impressive is how he said he’d take those large bags of popcorn seeds and leave them in the back of his Dotson to weigh it down, giving him better traction while driving in the Colorado snow.
Our refrigerator looked like a brand new appliance once we had finished cleaning it out and we’re looking forward to filling it back up over the weekend. I was also very happy to get rid of the tilapia because tilapia is the worst.
But one thing I almost hated to get rid of was the corn. This wasn’t just any corn, mind you – this was special corn. Six little half ears of corn lay at the bottom of the bottom freezer drawer wrapped in plastic that read “Laura Lynn”, the store brand from Ingles. Why that’s important to note is that we’ve not shopped at Ingles since we have lived in Knoxville. Nor have we shopped there since living in Oak Ridge. No, we haven’t shopped at Ingles since we lived in Morganton – this was Mo’ Town corn! I only half-jokingly said “Babe, we may have had this corn before we were married!” How on earth it has made all the moves with us and still resided in our freezer is beyond me but there it was. It was actually a sad moment to see that corn hit the bin as hard as it did. It’s been with us through thick and thin since we’ve lived together. It’s been a quiet part of our lives, probably propping up something tastier and more desirable in our freezer six years.
So with that I’d like to say a formal goodbye to that corn. While we may not have eaten it in the last half decade and while we wouldn’t have eaten it anyway since I have the weird phobia regarding biting into corn on the cob and apples and anything similar for fear of breaking my front tooth, it was still a proud part of our first apartment, our second apartment, and even our first house. You probably won’t be missed, corn, but I assure you that you will never be forgotten.