Remodeling Saga

Fortunately, the world didn’t end last Monday when my doctor, one of the world’s least punctual people, was early for an appointment for the first time in the 14 years I’ve been his patient.    So, my remodeling saga continues.

I believe every house in the suburb where I live has a refrigerator in it. While I’m old enough to remember a few die-hards having ice boxes, I also believe it’s now true that far less than one per cent of all houses in the United States don’t contain at least one refrigerator. Right now we have two, plus a stand-alone freezer, but we’ll be getting rid of one of the refrigerators very soon.We have two because we got a new one today.

People who deliver refrigerators for a living work hard for their money. Refrigerators are big and heavy and even though almost every house has at least one, lots of houses, including mine, aren’t designed so a new refrigerator can easily be carried into the house even by strong men with specialized equipment like a hand truck with rollers that allow you to drag it up and down stairs.

When the refrigerator was delivered this morning, the men who did so measured two exterior and two interior doorways. They measured the space where the refrigerator is supposed to go and they measured the refrigerator too. Then they took the refrigerator apart. It’s one of those French-door refrigerators, so they removed two doors and the drawer front for the freezer portion. They also removed the back door to my house. They used the stair-climbing hand truck too, but they still had to lift the refrigerator and the dolly to squeeze it through the back door. I tipped the two guys who did all that work. They told me people with money don’t tip well. So, I guess it’s official (but not surprising to me) that I don’t have money.

After all that trouble, the new refrigerator barely doesn’t fit where it’s supposed to go. I think it’s because before I started to renovate, nothing in my 100-year-old house was level, square or plumb. The new cabinets are plumb, but the floor isn’t level so the refrigerator wants to stand at an angle great enough to make the space where it goes a little too narrow. I hope the refrigerator’s leveling adjustment covers a big enough range that we can make the fridge fit without requiring any of the already installed cabinets to be moved.  

I have more things delivered these days than I used to. My Uncle Eddie being dead for many years is the reason I had the refrigerator delivered. When we moved in my childhood from our apartment on the Brooklyn-Queens border into the family’s suburban homestead in Syosset, NY, my Uncle Eddie, who worked moving furniture, did the job. Eddie and my dad were close. He insisted. Resistance would have been futile. My clearest memory of that moving day is that my Uncle Eddie carried our refrigerator from the moving van into the house, on his back and by himself, using one of those canvas straps movers use. Standard refrigerators were much smaller then than they are today, which may be why new ones are hard to get into older homes, but cubic foot for cubic foot refrigerators were much heavier then than they are today. I am thinking that refrigerator weighed very close to twice what my Uncle Eddie did and he was a big, and obviously strong man.

Uncle Eddie died long before his time and when I was quite young. That trick with the refrigerator is one of only two strong memories I have of him. I’m happy I got my new refrigerator today and it was nice to be reminded of Uncle Eddie too.

Author: Tom

I know my ABC's, I can write my name and I can count to a hundred.