So let me tell you about this summer’s visits from my grandsons – but first,
In 1932 we’d be out somewhere and Mother would panic: “Oh, I forgot to empty the drip pan under the
icebox!” That was during the Depression,
when we couldn’t afford to rent a flat with the technological installation of a
hose and drain to carry off the water from the melting block of ice.
The ice man came in a horse-drawn wagon, and Mother would
prop a card in the window – which side faced up would signal whether we were ordering a full block of ice,
a quarter or a half. That way he’d need
to take the stairs only once. He had
fascinating equipment – ice picks (so useful in novels
about murders), a pair of tongs maybe two feet high, and a heavy leather pad that shielded his
shoulder while he made deliveries.
Our rich relatives had a real refrigerator, with a pile of
coils on the top (for evaporation or some such?) -- everyone still called it
the ice box. But none of this is what I
started out to tell you. About my grandsons:
So last spring the automatic ice maker in the freezer side of my frig started leaking water.
While the repairman was here for something else – don’t remember what – he
explained what would be involved in repairing it. Among other things, the frig is built
in. Now that I’m living alone, I don’t
seem to use ice anyhow. So I asked him
just to disconnect the icemaker; I’d buy some ice cube trays for visitors.
Feeling expansive, I ordered four of the most expensive ones
on the Internet – none of your aluminum, I’d have stainless steel.
They turned out to be almost impossible to
pry loose – it shows my age that I hadn’t even thought of easy-release plastic (silicone?)
So I started out to tell you about my grandsons:
Well, ice cubes have
been so automated in recent years that I’d completely forgotten about
teenagers. Yes, they sneak the last
cookie and put the box back in the cupboard.
Yes, they finish off the milk and return the empty bottle to the frig
door (they are, after all, practicing to be men). But what I’d completely forgotten – what was
so nostalgic – is that they fish for the last ice cube and then carefully
return the empty tray to the frig.
Without refilling it.