Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Life, Death, Simplicity and Refrigerators

Tonight I am thinking about simple living. It's interesting how it typically takes a major life event bring us back to our simplest needs. For instance, when death or birth visits a family, what do we do? Send them food . . . to be sure that their most basic needs are being met. When immersed in adjusting to the care of a newborn, life s l o w s way down . . . so that we are only thinking about the very basics: food and sleep, mostly.

Likewise, in the midst of grief, we may forget to eat, so friends and neighbors bring over food. Or, all we may want to do is eat. I remember when my grandmother died -- who was like a mother to my sisters and I -- I think we spent an entire week eating sourdough bread and drinking wine, while we soaked up all of the love and memories that last week we got to spend in her home which to us felt like "our home."

This week at our house, we have had a death . . . of sorts: the refrigerator has been slowly dying. Interestingly, however, the freezer seems to be working just fine. After two days with the ice chest, we opted to bring in the small wine cooler-type refrigerator we had in another room. I suppose it could hold about 20 bottles of wine to give an idea of its size. After testing to be sure it would keep the dairy products cold enough, we brought it into the kitchen.

So now life in the kitchen is getting simpler. I have to actually think about how much space is in that small fridge. Actually, I have not been shopping in a while as I am trying to be sure we "eat down" what we already have. It makes me think of the old days, when folks used to do their "marketing" several days a week -- like those stories Grandma used to tell about her old ice box.

I sort of like this small fridge -- it's manageable. I seriously doubt I will find anything growing way in the back, forgotten and neglected for weeks. It has a smoked-glass front door that I can see through and see all my necessary ingredients. Just the simple basics: milk, a few dairy products, eggs, and veggies (ok, and maybe a bottle of wine!). Of course it helps that most of the condiments are still in the big fridge -- the stuff that's not going to spoil easily.

It feels good to live more simply . . . with more awareness, and most likely, less waste.

Of course, if the freezer goes out on the old fridge, I'll have to step up the CraigsList search for a new/used regular-sized refrigerator. But for now, I'm going to enjoy this simpler approach and trust that the "right" new fridge will eventually find its way to us.

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