Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Free-zer

I just turned 41.

40 + 1…

It was actually quite strange as far as birthdays go. I mean hey, when you turn the big ones like 21, 30 and 40, everyone makes a big deal out of it, but at 41, practically everyone forgot.

It’s okay. If it isn’t important to anyone, I can sort of graze over it like it never happened and act like I am still 40. Wait… I said graze instead of GLAZE… well, you know what I mean. Did I spell that right? I’m not 41… I can’t find the right word and I can’t spell.

It was such a strange day. I pretended May 28th wasn’t my birthday and celebrated on May 29th instead. May 29th was a much better day anyway. At least the sun was shining that day.

Back to my 41st birthday…

It all started early in the morning when we had an early field trip and had to have breakfast on the bus. We went to a museum and it rained.

All day…

You may be thinking, “A museum… great, you were inside!”

Nope. It was an outdoor museum and we had to walk for five minutes at a time between displays, none of the kids got to have milk at lunch because the milk had been left on the bus, and one of our groups was late getting back to the bus, which made us arrive back at school after the day should have already been over.

I shouldn’t be so negative. No one got hurt. Everyone was safe.

And I was a year older.

I always hear people say, “Happy Birthday. A year older and a year wiser!”

Nope. In my case, I have to argue with that. Although I am indefinitely another year older, I am certainly not a year wiser. I seem to learn and relearn the same lessons over and over and over and over again. Here’s my latest lesson. I learned to ask questions and to measure. I’ll tell you how. It was quite a story.

I’ll start at the beginning.

We are joining a CSA… (Community Supported Agriculture), which means someone else does all the organic planting, weeding, and plucking. We will have more vegetables than will be humanly possible to comprehend… and we will have to eat or store the veggies by canning/freezing. We don’t have enough room in our freezer! That’s where I made (my first) huge mistake.

It didn’t start out to be a mistake. I was actually incredibly proud of myself for spotting in the local paper:


FREE FREEZER Some rust, but works! Also 3 gallons of Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray ext. paint & 4 + gallons Cabot solid color acrylic stain Barn Red (insert phone number here)

My eyes focused on the FREE- ZER. Normally, I would call and ask for both stains and decide to stain my house and deck too… but (this week), my focus was on the FREE FREEZER. I called the number listed (though I haven’t given you the number to protect the innocent) and our conversation was as follows:

“Yes… hi. Do you still have your freezer that you advertised in the paper?”
“Is this Amy?” (That’s Vermont- our paths have crossed somehow.) (Now, I suddenly got nervous… have I called this person before and relieved them of something free before?) (How does she recognize my voice?)
“Yes… this is Amy. Who is this?”
“Linda _________.” (again, I am going to protect her… she is innocent in all of this.)

Our conversation became very informal because we knew each other. She told me that she had already given it away, but that the other people who asked for it needed to get a truck so they could move it. She also said it may not happen with the other folks so I told her to call me if it didn’t work out. This would not be a challenge; my name and number are in the phone book and this is a small town.

So, here’s where I made one of my errors: I never asked her any specifics about the freezer. I didn’t ask if it was a chest freezer or an upright. I never asked what size it was. I hung up and considered it finished because someone else was ahead of me.

Days later, the phone rang during the busy time of the evening. My husband answered the phone. After a few moments, I assumed that my husband was talking to Linda ___________’s husband because they seemed to be trying to figure out when it would be a good time to pick up the freezer. In my defense, my husband never asked what type or size of freezer it was either. See? We are such a good couple.

He decided to go get the freezer on May 28th… my birthday. He got a friend of ours (Norm) to help move it and borrowed my step-father’s truck. They would go in the evening… after T-ball practice.

But there was no T-ball practice, because as I mentioned before, it was a very rainy day. SO, I came home completely exhausted from the wet field trip and made dinner My friend Barb (Norm’s wife) came over to our house to have dinner while Norm and my husband went to pick up the Free-zer. The kids played and ate happily together.

We had a glass of wine (or two) (it was my birthday) and waited for the men to return from their wet adventure to get the free-zer. An hour or so after the guys had gone, I checked the answering machine messages.

There were several calls that were birthday oriented… and then message #5 had my friend Linda __________ saying: “Tonight isn’t the best night to pick up the free-zer. Could you guys reschedule for another night? Well, we left the door unlocked and the light on so maybe if you just want to grab it you can. Here’s our number if you want to give us a call.” (insert number here)


Have I ever mentioned that we don’t have a cell phone? We probably should, but I am in denial! I asked Linda __________ if she knew anyone who could go by and tell the guys that they could just grab the Free-zer. She did. Someone showed up and told them so they got the free-zer and brought it home.

My husband put a huge gash in his leg and was cursing my name (see picture) as they brought the massive thing UP the driveway and set it down near the bulkhead doors to the cellar.

That was when they discovered that it would not be able to fit into our cellar. Oh boy!

So we have crossed the line (you know what line I mean.) We have a freezer sitting in our front yard with a tarp and a free door- from a yard sale- on top of it.

Now, through this experience, I have decided to add a new word to the dictionary. The word is ZER.

In my dictionary, there are only 27 words that start with Z! I think we need a new word.

Zer (zir) noun a free, giant heavy problem created by a wife for her husband to solve on her birthday (zerier, zeriest, zerily)

I need your input. What do we do with our ZER? Here is what we have come up with already:

Take apart the doorframe and put the freezer into the cellar. Rebuild the door once it’s in there.
Offer the ZER to the farmhouse at the community where we live.
Pour concrete into our current sand-box and built a structure around it to house the ZER. Add an electric box so we can plug it in.
Put the blessed ZER on free-cycle.
Put it back in the paper for FREE.
Call Linda ______________ back and ask her who wanted the ZER but couldn’t get a truck. We’ll deliver it to them.
Leave it where it is and feel good about crossing the line and storing things we don’t need in our yard.

Please share your ideas. We welcome your input.

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