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Saturday, June 25, 2011

One of Those Days

The little five-cubic-foot (is it foot or feet?) freezer in our garage, that we use for extra food storage, conked out on us this past week. We felt that the temperature inside the freezer was still cool enough that we could salvage a few things, like bread and vegetables; but we threw out things like frozen dinners and meat.

We called our garbage service company to see about having the old freezer picked up with our trash and learned that the cost would be $75. However, if we wanted to take it to their drop-off site, the cost would drop to $25. Well, that was a no-brainer.

So, yesterday, Doug hitched our utility trailer to our minivan, preparing to take the little freezer to its final resting place. In the process of hitching the trailer, though, he realized that a prong had broken off of the connector for the trailer lights. The lights worked, but on only one side of the trailer.

Well, after all, it was daylight; and the tail lights of the minivan were visible above the trailer; so we decided to go ahead and make our trip and deal with the connector later.

With the little defunct freezer securely strapped down in the trailer, we set off for the drop-off site, about 30 miles away. When we arrived, though, we were told that they don't accept freezers. They suggested another place that we could try.

So we called the other place and got directions to their drop-off site, about 20 miles closer to home. When we arrived, we found a very friendly staff, running a very busy and efficient operation. We pulled onto a scale, where they checked us in and then directed us to an area where a crane with a huge magnet was unloading scrap from a pickup truck.
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We sat, waiting our turn and enjoying the adventure of watching scrap being unloaded and crushed. (What can I say? We're retired. Adventures don't come along every day.)

When our turn came, a man with a walkie-talkie radio to his ear asked us if we wanted the crane to unload our cargo. Having seen how the pickup lurched every time the magnet approached it, we opted to unload our freezer ourselves. Mr. Nice-Guy-With-Radio pointed out where he wanted us to put it and apologized for being too busy to help us at the moment.

After we had unloaded the freezer, the same man gave us a little piece of paper and directed us to the Cashier's office where, to our surprise, they paid US instead of the other way around. It wasn't much, but it covered the gas we had used in going to the wrong place first; AND we saved that $25 drop-off fee that we had been expecting.

So far, so good, right?

After a quick lunch break at McDonald's, we were off to Sears to pick up our new freezer, which I had ordered online the day before.

New freezer loaded and secured, we headed for home, stopping along the way at an auto parts store to buy a new connector for the trailer lights.

A neighbor man saw us backing the trailer into the driveway, with the freezer on board. He came over to help us unload it and stayed to help level it, which turned out to be an impossible job. The freezer was on rollers, but the rollers on one side were larger than the rollers on the other side; and there was no leveling mechanism to balance them out.

After trying several options for leveling, including sliding boards of varying thicknesses under the rollers and/or the frame, without success, Doug measured and found that the front was higher than the back; and the left side was higher than the right side. There was also an issue with the way the lid fit, appearing to fit tighter on one side than on the other. And we found a dent or two.

So we decided to return the freezer. We had packed it up and secured it in the trailer when we realized that the trailer's tailgate was missing. We were both sure that it had been on there when we arrived home with the new freezer, but it was nowhere to be found now.

After looking everywhere we could think of, Doug jury-rigged a tailgate, using a board and some C-clamps; and we were off to Sears again. While Doug and a Sears employee were unloading the freezer at the Merchandise Pickup area, I went upstairs to the Appliance Department to process the refund.

We looked around the Merchandise Pickup area at Sears, hoping to find our missing tailgate, but without success. On our way home, with the empty trailer in tow, we searched along the route to see if we could find the tailgate lying along the road somewhere. But we found nothing.

We called our friend, Dave, who is a whiz with anything electrical, and asked him if he'd be willing to install the new trailer light connector for us. He agreed and told us to bring the trailer over after supper.

Of course, no job is ever as simple as you think it will be, so it wound up taking nearly two hours for the guys to get the lights working properly. Meanwhile, our friend's wife, Kay, and I were having a most enjoyable time of fellowship in the comfort of their house.

When Kay had learned that we were coming over, she made a butterscotch pie, knowing it's Doug's favorite. So, when the guys came in after finishing their project in the garage, we all sat down and enjoyed some pie and some more fellowship.

It had been a harrowing day for us, with the trailer light problem; driving many miles out of our way to the wrong drop-off site for the freezer; struggling to make the new freezer work, only to give up and have to take it back to the store; and then losing the tailgate to the utility trailer. And it had come on the heels of a stressful week.

But the Lord is so good, and He gave us that time of fellowship with Dave and Kay last night in which we could share our hearts with them and they with us. And, at the end of the evening, they each prayed for us. Nothing is more soothing to the soul than prayer with friends.

Today, things are looking brighter.


An Update: The tailgate has been found. My niece’s husband was on his way out to our house Saturday  morning, to borrow the trailer, and he spotted the tailgate lying alongside the road just a mile or so from our house. It had apparently gotten loose and bounced out of its brackets when the trailer went over a rough spot. Mystery solved!       

8 comments:

  1. As the saying goes,'alls well that end well.'
    I was having visions of being pulled over by a patrol car,or something exciting like that.:)

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  2. Well, you did get a lot done. That's always a nice feeling! Adventures always happen in the most unlikely places.

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  3. Ruth - I had some visions of that myself, but we had no problems with police...just everything else. :)

    Elizabeth - We covered a lot of ground (miles) but really didn't have much to show for it when all was said and done. :)

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  4. “What can I say? We're retired. Adventures don't come along every day.” – I loved this line and laughed out loud. Good friends are great, but good friends with special skills and strong cooking abilities are priceless. Your utility trailer I think needs some work – do you have any welder friends :-) Sorry - I suppose that was kind of mean hee hee

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  5. Mmm butterscotch pie sounds good and seemed a reward for staying cool during a stressful day. I like getting paid for the old one. The new ones are lighter.I gave mine away to a family who really needed one. I don't miss it too bad, but enjoyed mine when I had a family at home.

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  6. Grayquill - Ha! As someone who always enjoys a good laugh, it's a privilege when I can give one to someone else. Good friends are priceless, whether they cook for you or not. :) Doug knew that the latching bracket on the tailgate was missing, but he didn't think it could just bounce off like it did. He'll be getting that fixed ASAP.

    Steve - The little freezers just provide a nice little bit of extra storage. We don't need much. The butterscotch pie was great, but the fellowship was even sweeter.

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  7. I'll bet that a few time along the way, you were writing the blog post in your head. ;)

    I loved the line that Grayquill quoted from your post. It made me laugh too. :)

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  8. Hilary - Yes, I admit that a blog post was formulating in my mind as that crazy day went forward. I'm glad I could give you a laugh.

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