Reflecting on my life I think I lived quite a remarkable length of time – traveled many miles. I hadn’t realized my dying would be noteworthy, but am even more surprised overhearing just how much I’m missed. I have to tell you, I don’t mind the eternal rest I’m experiencing. Life hasn’t been easy as I reflect on my past.
I recall my pride at being chosen in my youthful prime over many others by a very discerning older couple to take up residence in their suburban ranch style home. I’d only resided there a little over a year when they were replaced by a much younger newly married couple. We became comfortable companions so after only a couple years or so, I was chosen to join them in an unexpected odyssey.
This travel required my being removed from the only real home I’d known. Initially, I was relegated with a number of others from our home to a small dark windowless area where we were all pressed up against one another for a several months period of uncertainty as to our future.
Just as I was giving up hope of seeing daylight again, the others and I were all suddenly loaded onto a large vehicle of some sort for a several hour ride to another location. We were removed and I was again in an environment where I could function as I was intended.
This was an exciting time as I became aware a new little being – cooing, gurgling, making crying sounds, loud and noisy at times – had taken up permanent residence in our household.
But not quite a year later I was again subjected to having my interior being emptied, then I was loaded into a huge vehicle, only this time the ride I took was weeks long-g-g. Other than my first Midwest Great Lakes residence, the southwestern state where I ended up this time was probably the most ideal for me once my interior was properly cleaned and refreshed.
My memories remind me of the special pleasure several years later when I once again heard the ooing, ah-h-h-ing, grunting, babbling and more noisy sounds indicating another little one was joining our home. Meanwhile, I had enjoyed the first little being’s hands occasionally pressed against me, steadying for walking about, or prying fingers trying to figure out how to access my interior, gradually become more independent. Then there was the birthday party with young neighbor friends and that fancy decorated chocolate lion cake made from scratch.
There was lots of activity and I really felt I was an important part of life there. I faced a west window so regularly witnessed the fading day’s light, shades of sunset reds sweeping across the sky before emerging sparkling stars appeared.
I recall one time of enormous vibrating cacophony, seeing shells clinging to tree trunks, the day after the living noisy cicada departed. Their single isolated sound had been steady, never-ending, created as pictured here, but multiplied by thousands -- deafening.
I also saw power-stopping lightning, heard sharp ear-splitting thunder and witnessed horrendous rainy downpours. One anxiety-filled occasion occurred when a hundred year flood was triggered by a downpour which desert sandy grounds could not absorb fast enough, allowing water to rise to a level seeping under doors into the house interior. Fortunately, the water was prevented from creeping into my area, mechanism and motor.
There was one occasion I was glad to be protected indoors when in the distance I could see an awesome dark cloud filling the sky -- rolling closer and closer, becoming blacker and blacker, finally encompassing the whole house as the cloud passed overhead. Outdoors, a few dirty grey moisture drops splattered over everything. Inside, a thin. light, covering-everything residue was the gift blown in by this dust storm.
More pleasant times allowed me to feel my whole being to be of use and value. This occurred when various baking tins were placed on the top of my exterior, just below a cabinet – a perfect warm location, out of drafts, for sour dough, whole wheat and other yeasty rolls/bread dough to rise before their aroma permeated the air in baking.
Those years lasted only half-a-decade. Another move for this family was in the offing. I didn’t know I almost was left behind on that move, so when I was unloaded from what has ultimately proved to be my last large vehicle ride, to be placed outside, in a garage, I was totally unprepared this less than ideal location would become permanently mine.
Over forty years have passed. I long ago came to the realization that my value to the family was to be exactly where I was -- in the garage. Summers were hot – sometimes over a hundred degrees, but at least I was protected from the sun’s direct rays. Winters only occasionally would be below freezing temperatures, but I was protected from those cold effects, too.
Once I reconciled myself to make the most of my situation, I began to feel quite proud during those years. On two different occasions when the units inside the home, where I previously always had been, ceased working, I came to the rescue. In those emergencies I was able to take into my interior all their contents – frozen foods did not thaw, milk did not sour, food did not spoil. Both of those inside units had been purchased new, had worn out, one replacing the other, while I – much older – who had been moved, drug about, coast to coast -- kept doing my job, never once even requiring service or repair.
Finally, early in 2017, I just became exhausted. I’ve been working 24/7 well over half a century -- with no repairs or even any service provided. I’ve just – finally – stopped working. Maybe my mechanism could be given first aid of some sort, tuned up, repaired in some way – maybe not. But, I just want to be allowed to permanently rest now. My exterior appearance, sometimes neglected due to other priorities -- but not because of the families lack of caring -- decidedly reflects the wear of years. I know I'll be taken from here, but I'm ready. Wherever I’m taken, I hope that some part of me, if not all, can be recycled.
RIP Hotpoint Refrigerator 1962-2017