Right about the time that I took the butter out for our Irish soda bread baking session with my mom, I knew we were in trouble. The butter already seemed softened. Confirming my suspicions from earlier in the day that the refrigerator temperature felt slightly warmer than usual, Mr. Butter squished readily as I pinched him. Definitely soft. Buh-oh!!!

My dad is often the hero in these stories, and he made a valiant effort. The fridge, however, would not surrender. Nothing, nothing is making it cool right now. We have an appointment for tomorrow: 9:00 until 1:00 is our window. Goodbye milk, nice knowing ya.

Actually, it may not be as bad as all that. Dad got some ice, and we filled up coolers. It’ll keep, just not forever. We also packed in ice around some items still in the fridge. What else can we do? All I really want to do is to save my new wedge of Stilton and my Irish Dubliner cheese, and the Gouda, if fate allows. All new cheese purchased today–before I knew. The Greek yogurt would be nice to keep, too. Oh, and the remainder of the mango and the raspberries Katie and I shared with our cheese and cracker lunch.

The problem is, this is a petty problem. My dad reminded me twice—TWICE—of the awful state of life in Japan. It’s a little embarrassing that he had to say it twice: that means I wasn’t doing as well as I thought at keeping my inner Stress Case to myself right at the beginning. She appears sometimes, mostly when things don’t go as I planned them. I know, right? Get over myself. It’s just a fridge and few dairy products. We won’t starve, we still have electricity, water, Internet, everyone is well.

I did get over it, eventually…and more quickly than I normally do. And no, not because I ultimately made the comparison of my life to the lives of those in Japan. That would be using their tragedy for my own personal gain of peace of mind over an appliance, and that would not be right. I refuse to compare and contrast things like that. How can a broken fridge even be compared?

Ultimately, I took a time out upstairs and made a decision to let it go. Let it go. No amount of stress can turn a fridge back on. Let it go. No amount of wanting to control it can make it be controlled. Let it go. Things go wrong sometimes. That is how life is. The theme song from the 1980s TV show “Facts of Life” actually popped into my head: “You take the good/You take the bad/You take them both/And there you have/The facts of life/The faaaaacts of liiiiife!” The writers of that song sure did get that right.

Obviously, with the kiddos both having the stomach bug this month (Eric is showing signs of being back to health today, finally, hurrah!) and now the fridge, I picked a good month to start taking 2000 mg of fish oil daily. I think it helps the brain work itself out a little, you know? Not to get fixated on what I cannot control. Stay present in the moment and breathe it in, sit inside of the confusion, and let it be okay. Confusion, muck, work, repairs—all part of life.

So, even my refrigerator can be a good teacher… Is this a joyful story today? Not sure. I try to keep the joy forefront and the complaints minimized in this blog, as you all know. I guess the joy resides in the ability to let go of the things we cannot control, to give it up, and to see where the new journey takes us. Something to think about anyway.


Love, Sarah