I am thankful

I am thankful today for my new refrigerator. Our old one died a few weeks ago. Its replacement, a New Zealand-made Fisher & Paykel, was delayed by labor problems at the Los Angeles docks and eventually had to be unloaded in Vancouver and trucked down to Mendocino. Meanwhile Canclini’s, our local appliance dealer, gave us a smallish loaner, which has been parked out in the garage. We have gotten used to traipsing back and forth carrying milk or butter, and had set up ice chests on the back porch in preparation for an overflow of drinks and produce to feed our visiting family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday.

It would be inconvenient, but we would cope. We’ve survived worse holiday crises. There was that time thirty-five years ago when we were remodeling an old house in Palo Alto. The kitchen walls were stripped down to the studs. Crates of new kitchen cabinets filled the living room, blocking access to the fireplace. I noted in my journal: At least I did warn [our friend] Judi that we might be picnicking amongst the mess. … [Our teenage sons] moved the kitchen cabinets today so that the sitting room & fireplace are usable again.  Until the gas lines are reorganized, we have no heat, and the weather is getting colder, so it was important to be able to have a fire in the fireplace.  We have plenty of firewood at least.  On 11-30-1979 I noted that we had a delightful ‘old-fashioned’ Thanksgiving with Judi and her son Mark, who had been friends with our sons since they were little boys.

Thanksgiving a year later, the second floor completely rebuilt, we were waiting for the new roof to be completed and keeping a wary eye on the weather.

Journal 11-24-1980: The disaster finally happened over the weekend – eight weeks good luck couldn’t last.  It rained Friday evening.  Trusting in the plywood sheathing, we didn’t cover the floor with plastic all that thoroughly – a mistake.  Throughout the night new drips opened up in the ceiling, mainly in the places where old plaster joined with new or at best was sagging or cracked.  Buckets and towels all over the floor.  We had to move out our bed because of a drip above us, which turned into a downpour slightly further along the crack about 3:00 am.  David’s room also, where old gable met new roof, had a line of drips.  Nasty watermark on the ceiling (most of which we were going to redo anyway).  No permanent damage to floor.  Spent all Sat. cleaning up in preparation for Thanksgiving, which I suspect is going to be as improvised as it was last year, though in different ways.  Kitchen is finished, though with temporary lighting (as is all of ground floor).  Can’t use the fireplace – need extension flue, which is still being built. Will have to decorate at eye level, prevent people’s eyes from moving upward, because of water marks on ceiling and upper walls.  Stairwell still a mess of lath and ladders.

We survived that Thanksgiving holiday too. But this year we had a last-minute rescue. The kind men from Canclini’s brought us the new fridge on Wednesday morning and also left us the loaner until after the weekend, just in case we needed extra space. The turkey sits there now. In a little while, I’ll head out to the garage one more time and bring it in to the oven.

Thank you, Canclini TV & Appliances, and Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

9 Responses to “I am thankful”

  • YES! How do those U.S. appliances know to conk out right at feast time? A marvel of technology. Love your post, Maureen. Many thanks for you and to you!

  • Kate:

    Thank you for sharing this story and your memories of past Thanksgivings. Isn’t it funny how the most memorable holidays are the ones where something went wrong, yet somehow the day is saved and a good time is had by all?

  • Fran Schwartz:

    Delightful story, a tribute to your ability to cope and enjoy the holiday despite all obstacles.

  • Henri:

    A reminder on Thanksgiving of all we have to appreciate: surviving with good humor the havoc of living, because, after all, we didn’t drown in that downpour, our family and (most of our)friends are still with us, and no one is going hungry today, thanks to the patient turkey in the cooler.

  • Jewels:

    What a great story of gratitude seen through the veils of life’s challenges. Thank you Maureen. And thank you for the wonderful poems I have been feasting on – your latest book has finally arrived. I’m in love again.

  • Judi:

    I am thankful for a friend, who maintains such a wonderful journal! How sweet to recall that Mark and I spent the Thanksgiving of 1979 with the Eppsteins. I remember other holidays we spent with your family–always pleasant memories.

    We lived in Martinez at that time, and you had probably returned to the Bay Area from Goleta only a year of so before. It must have been a lovely reunion for us all. Wonder where Amanda might have been. I am happy to say that today she is here with me!

    Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.


  • Ah, there’s nothing like perspective to set the day on the right course. It’s very clever of you to replace your refrigerator with one NOT made in the USofA. Presumably, it won’t be predisposed to fail on Thanksgiving, as our various American made appliances and garbage disposals have done in the past.

  • I love stories of disastrous holidays. My favorite is the Christmas in Mississippi when everything froze. We had no water, but dinner for seventeen could not be cancelled. We ended by washing dishes in the lake outside.

  • Good story, Maureen. Your new frig will designed by Fisher & Paykel but, like most things these days, was manufactured in China.

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