It may be a quirk of mine due to a frugal nature, but I tend to hang on to major household appliances to within an inch of their death. I mean why buy a fancy-schmancy new appliance when the old one works just fine? The problem comes when my long-held appliances eventually go kaput, no matter how much I try to coax them along. And during their slow death usually comes a slow diminishing of their usefulness.
My old refrigerator finally gave up the ghost. A huge side-by-side refrigerator freezer, it was at least 30 years old. When we moved into our house in 1992, my in-laws gave us their old refrigerator since they were remodeling their kitchen. I could see why they wanted to get rid of it because it was a monster! It was extremely LOUD, but chugged away quite efficiently for many years. I got used to the noise, grateful for the times when it would cycle off and give me a respite from the cacophony.
Then about a year ago it started leaking slowly, and small rust spots starting appearing on the freezer door. I did my best to ignore this because it seemed to be keeping the food cold and frozen. As long as it was doing its job, I was okay with it. Then a few weeks ago I noticed that, despite the motor loudly running, the refrigerator part seemed warmish. And the freezer part was still cool but the frozen items were thawing. EEK! There was no denying it any longer – definitely time to get a new fridge.
My son was due home for spring break after finals in about a week, so I wanted to wait for him to do research on the best refrigerator to buy (he’s a computer science/engineering major – useful to have around). So I had to nurse the fridge along with whatever life it had left in it. The problem with refrigerators as a major appliance is that you are also dealing with food perishables. I had to throw away everything from the freezer (filled up my garbage can) and since the freezer part was now the same temperature that the refrigerator should be, I moved the refrigerated items to the freezer. It kinda sorta kept things cool there, but it was a worry thinking I may die of food poisoning or salmonella or something. I didn’t die, or even get sick, so things must have been okay.
After my son came home and did the research, we set off to buy a new refrigerator. It wasn’t that bad of an experience as we knew what model we wanted and it was just finding the place that had the model in stock. Luckily we found a great store to buy it, and soon a spanking brand new refrigerator was in my kitchen. Of course, before it was installed I had the lovely task of pulling the old refrigerator out and cleaning behind it. Since the old monster was essentially immoveable it hadn’t been cleaned behind there in 22 years. It took me 3 hours of scrubbing to get it clean. My new fridge has wheels and can pull out easily, so I no longer have any excuses for not cleaning behind it.
I tell you, it is absolute BLISS having a new refrigerator! Things are properly kept cold and frozen, the motor is a lot quieter, and it is sparkling clean. Now let’s see how long I can keep this one going. 🙂