Since I first moved to Estrella Vista six years ago, I have been keeping food cool by keeping it on ice. There was never enough power to operate the electric refrigerator I own and, at a cost of $1,200, I could never come up with the money at one time to afford a propane refrigerator. So I resorted to the poor man’s trap of purchasing ice in weekly drips and drabs, even though I knew all along that the total cost, over time, was greater than if I’d been able to make the thousand-dollar-plus investment all at once.
Then, a couple days ago (while on another ice run), my neighbor Bill saw a notice in the window of the general store that someone was selling a propane refrigerator for $200 (or best offer). “That’s a hell of a deal,” said Bill.
“Too good a deal,” I said. “It either doesn’t work or the seller is going through something terrible… like a break-up.”
Bill reminded me that the notice said the refrigerator “works great.”
Anyway, I called after the seller had likely returned from work, and learned that he was relocating to Florida where his wife had already established a new business in the hospitality industry. They had moved to this area ten years ago, living off-the-grid, following his job as a scientist with the National Park Service. Now they were following her job. His wife had always hated living off-the-grid, miles and miles from everything essential. So he was leaving the area mid-week. It was now or never.
His story touched my heart. We reached a deal straightaway. I figured that the refrigerator probably did work great, plus this couple was staying together. How nice. No bad tastes to get into my food. Also, I’d be saving about $25 a week, minus the cost of propane. Over a year, that’s more than the cost of a new propane refrigerator.
Well, yesterday morning the seller called. He had hooked up the refrigerator to his propane source to test it again. The freezer works great but the main compartment doesn’t work at all. He offered the refrigerator to me, as is, for free.
Can it be repaired or will it just become another piece of junk that will need to be disposed of? Only time will tell, but the level of risk isn’t that great.
So Bill and I visited his place last night, a fifteen-minute drive away, and retrieved the fridge. Being a positive thinker, I paid the seller $50. That way, I reasoned, I won’t have any feelings of guilt if I get the refrigerator working. In addition to the cost of repair, I’ll only have to pay for some flexible gas hose and a regulator.
If we can get it working, I’ll be able to add chocolate ice cream to my grocery purchases for the first time in six years. It’s worth a try, but I won’t get my hopes up too high until it actually happens.
Groove of the Day