Monday, August 12, 2013

The Ice Man DIsappeareth

 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?) Rubbermaid trays.
           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.

1 comment:

  1. gee, i wonder which grandson this is. i am CONSTANTLY on his case about doing this. oy.

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