Last Thursday morning, when I got up, I found a sign stuck to the front of my very clean fridge:
Everything in fridge seems to be warm
My son Callum had scribbled me a note before leaving home for a 6 am shift at work.
I sighed. I picked up the phone and entered the number of a fridge repairman. I left a message on an answering machine and then got to work: I recleaned my clean fridge, inside and out, top and underneath. It took me hours. And when I’d finished, I couldn’t sit down with a hard earned cup of coffee. We had no fresh milk.
I’d thrown all the old food onto the compost pile at the bottom of the garden. Our puppy Nora wolfed it all down. The next day she had a stomach ache. The next day I had more cleaning to do.
Eventually the fridge repairman phoned me back. He couldn’t come for 4 days. “Four days! How are we to survive without a fridge for 4 days?” Somehow we did.
The repairman arrived: an older man with a hearing aid and a white beard. He had an akubra on his head, and was wearing denim jeans with a denim jacket over his flannel shirt. He shuffled in and frowned at the fridge. Half an hour later he said, “It’s dead. That’ll be $140… a bit more if you want an invoice.”
The cleanest fridge in all of Australia was dead.
“We need a new fridge,” I told Callum when he came in from work.
“I’ve got to go back to town this afternoon, Mum. I’ll have a look around and see what’s available.”
Several hours later, he reappeared with a brochure in his hand. “I spoke to Bob at Buy Best.” He thrust his finger under a picture of a side-by-side fridge/freezer. “He can do a good deal on this model.”
My husband Andy came home from school. After dinner, we looked at the brochures together. We also looked on the Internet to see what else was available. Should we buy another all-fridge? Perhaps a bigger fridge/freezer combination would be better. But if we got a bigger model, where would we put it? And what about the capacity of each model? And the energy rating? Which was the best buy? Soon we were doing a lot of real life maths. Oh my! So many things to think of. So many brands to choose from. We couldn’t come to a decision. I went to bed with a headache.
Yesterday Callum said,” Do you want me to take you to look at some fridges, Mum?” I did. “Shall we take the trailer just in case we buy one?”
Take the trailer? “Can you transport a fridge in a trailer?”
Callum grinned. “I could try.”
I thought about it. Getting the fridge delivered to our front door would be easier. It would be certain to arrive all in one piece. But getting Callum to collect it in his trailer would be quicker. “Let’s take the trailer.”
An hour later, I’d bought the fridge/ freezer recommended by Bob. “Do you want us to deliver it?” the sales assistant asked.
“No thank you. We’ve got a trailer.”
“A trailer?” He raised his eyebrows. “You’ll need to keep the fridge upright. You’ll need straps. I hope you haven’t got far to go.”
I mentioned where we live. The eyebrows rose again.“We’ll be right.” I hoped.
Callum loaded the fridge into the trailer. The already low car sank even further towards the road. I watched as Callum threw some straps over the fridge and tightened them up. “Do you think it’s safe? Will it move?”
Callum grinned. “I hope not. We’ll soon see.”
“I don’t want my new fridge to slide out onto the road.” I then had another thought: “How are you going to get out of the loading dock with the trailer?” We were facing the wrong way.
“Watch!” When did my son learn how to do a five point turn with a car attached to a trailer?
We set off for home… slowly. I felt conspicuous. People were staring. Hadn’t they ever seen a huge tall fridge standing in a low sided trailer, being pulled along by a low-to-the-ground car, driven by a grinning son, with his wide-eyed mother beside him? I sighed with relief when we finally made it out of town. But new challenges faced us. We went up hill and down hill, round bends and up some more hills, the trailer swaying at our rear. It was a long trip. It was a slow trip. We soon had a line of cars, with impatient drivers, banked up behind us.
“I bet everyone is very annoyed with us,” I said.
“Yeah!” Callum grinned. I grinned too. It didn’t really matter. Everyone could wait. We were a mother and son out on an adventure.
“We’ve done some crazy things together, haven’t we, Callum?”
“Do you remember when you took me out in the van, for my first driving lesson using gears?”
I did. Callum had kangaroo hopped up hill and down hill. He’d driven slowly. We’d ended up with a long line of cars banked up behind us. We’d both grinned. We’d been a mother and son out on an adventure together.
We made it home. Callum reversed the trailer onto the driveway. Mission accomplished!
Later Callum said to Andy, “Not only was Mum brave enough to come for a ride with me in my car, she let me tow her brand new fridge.”
Our new fridge/ freezer is now in position in the kitchen. It works splendidly. It looks spectacular. It’s clean and shiny. And best of all, we have lots of fresh milk. I can once again have coffee whenever I like.
“Thanks, Callum for helping me get the fridge.”
Callum grins. “No problem, Mum!”
I could have had my new fridge delivered to our front door. I’m glad I didn’t. It was much more fun doing things the adventurous way.
Before I finish this story, I’ve remembered something…
While we were driving back from town yesterday, with my fridge following on behind, Callum and I had time to chat. “Would you let me interview you,” I asked, “for next week’s unschooling video? We could talk about the transition to the workforce, how you’re still unschooling…” Callum nodded.
But before then, there’s this week’s video. It’s an interview with my 16 year old daughter Charlotte. I’m going to post that tomorrow. Please come back and watch!