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Independence is overrated

From the Farm

June 29, 2012
By Kerry Hoffman (kahoffman@newulmtel.net) , The Journal

A woman who is married to a farmer who always has priorities outside of the house makes a woman become very independent. Forget about having a husband who has time to fix the lawn mower or repair a household appliance.

You can't expect a farming husband to jump at every request. What you can expect is to be using curse words and your husband's name all in one sentence.

Just the other day, I asked Steve to replace the gasket sealing the freezer door on my refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Of course he was "way too busy" and had "to really get going."

"Either you can take the old gasket off the door or you can heat up the new gasket so it look like a rectangle instead of a tangled mess," I stated firmly. Yes, the gasket has been in a box for several years just waiting for that farmer to put it on the freezer door.

Steve looked at me like I was asking him to part the waters of the Red Sea because Moses was detained fixing a stone tablet he found in the mountains that his wife dropped and cracked.

After I fetched the power drill and proper bit, I handed it over to Steve and started warming the new gasket using a handy dandy hot-red hair dryer.

Steve was futzing on the freezer.

That's typical Steve, though. He analyzes every project for several minutes before he makes a move. Me, on the other hand, I start the task and worry about what I need as I go along.

I don't like waiting - for anything, especially a guy taking his time loosening screws on a freezer door. I do remember hearing a few huffy noises when I turned my back.

"Just go," I said nicely. (Yes, I did say it nicely.) "I think I can handle it from here."

Removing the gasket was the easy part. A few quick zips on the screws with the drill and "ta-da," the gasket came off the freezer door.

Putting the new gasket on really tried my patience. In fact, it tried my tolerance so far that I knew I better not ask anyone, especially Steve, to help for fear of having a headless body running around my house. Joey would have been a very convenient helper, as he was sitting in the living room watch Burn Notice on the USA Network. I chose not to inquire with him; he already thinks I am a crabby mother.

As I was trying to shove the new gasket in the minimal space allowed I kept thinking that I should have feigned a hand injury. I am double-jointed in all my fingers and they kept locking into a distorted mess.

It hurts to pop them out.

I started installation on the top of the freezer door, moved to the right side, started and completed the left side and then chose to start from the left bottom corner for finishing the task.

That's when I noticed the right side had come undone.

"You have to be kidding me," I said to the air surrounding my work area. If Joey heard me, he was wise and chose not to interact with me.

It was at this very time I noticed that a lot of my frozen food was starting to thaw. The good thing is most of it is vegetables. The bad thing - one container of frozen peach yogurt and one rather large container of vanilla ice cream were starting to show signs of melting.

My inner goddess was telling me, "Save the ice cream! Save the yogurt! You need to stop this very minute, pull out those frozen treats and consume them."

I convinced myself that the three pieces of French toast I had for breakfast were enough and looked away from the frozen dairy products. (Although I think they continued to call my name.)

I needed to speed up the repair process. Those dairy products were killing me.

All I had left, after replacing the right side for the second time, was the bottom.

Eww. I had to lie on my kitchen floor that hadn't been swept for days. Thank goodness human beings walk upright, because if people slithered across my kitchen floor they would have been thoroughly disgusted.

I was disgusted.

I wanted to stop fixing the freezer, wipe the sweat from my brow and sweep the floor. Yes, I was sweating. Can you believe it? That's how vigorously I was trying to complete this awful task.

In the end, I did manage to get the gasket on all the way around the door.

It took me just a bit more than one hour doing it on my own.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net.

 
 

 

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