I know, you’re right. It’s been a while.
First, I’m actually very pleased with the number of holiday activities I’ve found for KidsOutAndAbout, which you can see here. I also think that subscriptions are a great gift idea and there are SO MANY of them — here’s a list we put together if you need some gift ideas.
Here at home, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving. Part of the preparation was acquiring a new refrigerator! All of our appliances seem to be reaching the end of their natural lives in succession, so we decided to take advantage of a sale and enjoy the glory of a second refrigerator for the holiday season. But it turned out to be way more challenging than we anticipated to fit a 21st century fridge into our charming 1920s house.
First, we have a specific refrigerator spot with no particular leeway unless we’d like to redo all of our kitchen cabinets. We do not want to redo all of our kitchen cabinets. I have no doubt that someday when we sell this house, someone will be like, “Great house, but we totally have to gut this kitchen, and while we’re at it, we may as well tear down that back wall to expand it so that it lines up with the rest of the back of the house, and a door directly into the kitchen is a no-brainer.” I wish those someday-owners well, but it’s just not happening on our watch. So first we had to ponder the fact that the only way to get a modern refrigerator that was narrow enough to fit would be to get one so deep that it would stick out just a little too much. We spent a couple of days with the old fridge sticking out, and honestly? It was fine.
Incidentally, this is apparently not such an uncommon problem, and then, of course, you end up with just a little extra space, width-wise, because now your narrow-enough-to-fit-and-very-deep refrigerator can even be a-little-too-narrow, with extra space between the fridge and the counters, and so you can find all sorts of nifty rolling shelves to fill that spot. Which I got super excited about until Cute W had to bust out his measuring tape and destroy my beautiful dreams. That’s right: we have just enough space to look a teensy bit awkward, not quite enough to fit a useful shelf in there.
Speaking of the measuring tape, there was quite a bit of creative problem-solving to get the new refrigerator to its destination because, you guessed it, our doors are charmingly narrow as well. So it was sort of touch and go whether the new refrigerator would actually fit. It barely fit. Like, how much did it barely fit? Cute W removed the three refrigerator doors (French doors for the fridge part and a freezer door below). And then he removed the side door to our house. And then he removed the interior door between the side door landing and our kitchen. And then he removed a portion of the door jamb on that interior doorway. And we still couldn’t squeeze the fridge through. And then he removed the hardware for the interior freezer drawer that stuck out just a little bit farther than the freezer itself (and farther than the specs had indicated). We knew the doors would have to go, but it was just still. so. tight. And Cute W and I were carrying the fridge ourselves with these handy shoulder straps that are, based on the picture, supposed to make you super happy and excited to be carrying a major appliance, but we were not super-happy. We were stressed. It seemed entirely possible that we would not be able to fit the fridge in at all, and that we would manage to damage it too much to return it. And that the hours of effort would end in disappointment. At this point, Cute W was sweating and swearing and J was hiding away from the household stress and I was lingering nearby so that whenever W yelled for me, I could come running to be his assistant. So I took this picture.
Which reminds me, yes, of course, there were steps and thorny bushes involved as well. And then, finally, believe it or not, we managed to get the refrigerator into our house. I almost felt like crying with relief. Seriously, we were still periodically high-fiving about it hours later.
Of course, our next mission was to get the old refrigerator into our basement. That was not nearly so bad. We let it slide down the carpeted stairs. Of course, then it didn’t fit exactly where we wanted it until we did an entire basement storage area redesign. So now the spot that used to be the kids extra dress-up clothes and toy closet is a kitchen and pantry annex. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I started some low-key hoarding in January and February of 2020 when I heard about this weird virus coming soon, and I just feel like ever since then, having some extra toilet paper and canned beans in the house helps me sleep a little better at night. And of course, the second fridge arrived just in time to prepare for a Thanksgiving feast for 21. We’ve managed to fill the second refrigerator so full that I have no idea how we ever survived without it. Okay, I do–it was our poorly-insulated front foyer. But this feels way more civilized.
And here is the brand-new fridge. Yes, it sticks out, but that gives me a chance to display the photos while still looking clutter-free and shiny on the front. I’m good with it. Plus: filtered water!
But for me, the hands-down most exciting aspect of the new fridge is that we have an ice maker! It’s so unbelievably luxurious not to have to pop out and refill ice cube trays. I can just fill my glass with ice with zero consequences. And if I love it so much now, how much will I love it in the summer? Even more! Which is funny, because when people see my collage of newspaper ads on display (read more about those ads here), I always point out and chuckle at this ad:
But damned if I’m not enjoying these fascinating ice cubes! Just in time for the holiday, it all makes me quite thankful.