Friday, March 19, 2010

appliance woes

They say you never really appreciate some things until they are gone.  Or in this case, quit working.

St. Patrick's Day arrived, with gleeful anticipation in all of the Irish households of a beautiful day for parading and celebrating.  Most years it is cold, or raining, or snowing, so this year excitement was high.  Spring had shown itself early in St. Paul.

Mike and I have lived in this town for 18 years, and never once have we made it to the parade.  This was our year.  We had cleared our work calendars for the afternoon, and were ready to go.  Mike was going to do some filming, and perhaps create one of his fun mini-movies.  I had on my green, cash and ID in my pocket (what kind of a habit is THAT?  When is the last time I have been CARDED?)

That morning, when I had opened the fridge to pull out my rice milk for my coffee (another story for another day), an aroma wafted out.  And I realized it was strangely silent in my kitchen.  I informed Mike that I thought we might have a fridge problem.

I reminded him of that as we were about to leave, realizing that if we DID have a problem, we would have to deal with it sooner rather than later, or risk losing hundreds of dollars in food.

It was dead.  The lights were on but no one was home.  We checked the manual for troubleshooting tips and tried them.  We called Amana, they referred us to the place of purchase.  We called Warner's Stellian, they informed us that they no longer repaired Amana products.  While Mike was handling the phones, I was pulling out coolers, and cleaning out our basement freezer to make room for all of our fridge freezer goods.  I suggested Mike call his brother Bob, who actually used to work for Amana in Iowa.

The repair shop we were referred to was closed for a couple of hours to celebrate their birthday.

What to do in such a situation?  The Internet, to the rescue!

Mike did some searching, and Bob sent us some links.  While I continued to empty out the useless fridge and borrow coolers from friends, he actually diagnosed what he hoped was the problem and pulled out the evil part.  Finding a parts place not far from us, he brought it home and installed it.  We were fervently hoping we didn't need to go and buy a new fridge, or wait two days for the repair folks to show up and charge us $100 an hour in labor.  Not in the budget this year.

Mike put in the new part, we held our breath.  It worked!

So $60, several hours, and coolers full of food later, we had survived the 'crisis'.  Not really a crisis in the sense of horrible illness, or a death in the family or a rising river outside our door, but troublesome nonetheless.  Just as when we lose power for a few hours during a summer thunderstorm, you forget how much you rely on the conveniences of modern life, until you have to live without them.

So hug your fridge today, it does it's job 24/7.


  1. Did you make it to the parade?

  2. What a hassle, but how great that Mike fixed it w/out a repair guy. Big time savings there. Glad your food is chillin' once again.

  3. Like Tracy, I'm wondering if you made it to the parade? And, did you get carded?? :o)


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