Priorities on ice


One minute you are a capable, intelligent person fully able to function in polite society. The next you have forgotten the recipe for ice cubes.

The collusion

It all started innocently enough with my not keeping a close enough eye on the appliances around here. Everyone knows appliances are always in collusion. They travel in packs and when one goes they all go. This is why if your dishwasher dies your dryer will soon follow. Ditto for the washer and, say, garbage disposal.

They don’t have to be the same make, model, brand or even purchased within the same decade to decide, upon the death of one, they just can’t live without the other.

They then go on to that great appliance graveyard; where your dreams of a pricey appliance lasting long enough for the finish you chose to go out of style die with them.

Our 50-year-old stove finally died this spring (may she rest in peace). Accordingly we purchased a shiny new stove with digital read-outs and four (count ’em four) working burners. We were pretty jazzed.

Our thrill at having an entire household full of fully operable appliances lasted about a day; day and a half, tops.

The pop

The clothes dryer door started to pop open. Now, dryers don’t work if the doors pop open and at first I just thought I was losing my mind. I would start a load of laundry only to return some time later and find that the dryer was full of sopping wet clothes and the dryer door standing ajar.

So I’d curse myself for being so forgetful as to have not shut the door, firmly shut the door and repeat the same cycle again. I don’t know how many days this went on before I got wise to the fact that I actually was shutting the dryer door. It just wasn’t staying shut.

The dryer, as it turns out, is wily. Now, I’m nothing if not resourceful (read: cheap). So I dutifully set out to repair the dryer door using my skill and capacity for appliance repair. In short, I resorted to kicking the door really hard to show it I meant business. Take that wet laundry!

Then, a few weeks ago during one of the many brutal heatwaves we have endured this summer, we awoke to find our refrigerator was no longer cold.

The room temperature milk and eggs and rivulets of water running out of the automatic ice dispenser were hard to miss.

Thus, we spent the next two days stowing food out in the barn and basement freezers.

Let me assure you the best diet plan on the planet includes keeping your ice cream about 200 feet from the house. You really weigh the craving for that ice cream sandwich against having to hike for it. I find that when gluttony butts head with laziness, laziness often wins.

Chill out

Eventually repaired, the refrigerator chilled out and we went on with the exciting new advancement of kitchen-based cold food. Soon it would become apparent, however, that we had an even bigger problem: Our refrigerator’s automatic ice-maker quit making ice cubes!

Now I am nothing if not a pioneer. I grew up making ice-cubes the old fashioned way with only ice cube trays, tap water, and my own cunning to guide me. That was then, this is now, however.

We faced a long, hot weekend, a house full of company and not a single ice cube tray in sight. While the spirit was willing to “fill and freeze,” the supplies were most definitely weak.

Ice cube trays? Seriously? Do they even make those anymore? Where would one go to purchase an ice cube tray? Is that an eBay item? Perhaps an outlet mall?

This is the moment when I realized modern convenience had failed me. I had gone soft. I had no earthly idea how I could make ice cubes that didn’t entail a 40-minute round trip to a nearby retailer for a couple of ice cube trays, or driving to the corner store and just purchasing a bag of ice. Either solution seemed kind of … wimpy, somehow.

We ended up having someone smart in such things come back and repair the ice-maker because do-it-yourself ice cubes just seemed too hard. Meanwhile, I am still holding the dryer door shut with my foot. Go figure.

Wrong priorities

Seems like misplaced priorities, you say? What in the world were you thinking, you ask? Well, as it turns out, you can always hang your clothes out on a clothesline to dry, but when it comes to making margaritas to reward yourself for doing that, you are really going to need a lot of perfectly crushed and relatively effortless ice.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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