The Hellhole

Monday, June 27, 2011

Well, our new refrigerator is inside, the old one is in the garage and all the food has been switched to the one inside. Our friends came over to help as promised and we said we'd buy them dinner at our mutual favorite Italian restaurant as a thank-you. Boy, did they earn that meal, and maybe more! Because of course this is me so things could not possibly go without a hitch, right?

When I first called, I thought mainly I was borrowing a dude, just someone stronger than me that could help Alan muscle one in and the other out. As it turned out, though, Rick had all sorts of items that would be helpful: ramps, hand truck, tools - so I chose a good friend to ask for this favor. Poor Rick, the Grey Goose on the rocks I gave him doesn't come close. We thought we'd done well getting everything emptied and on the counters, the old refrigerator pulled out and the floor underneath cleaned before they got here...heh, not so much. Getting the old one out wasn't that big a deal for the guys but once they started edging the new one in, they found it was too wide and Rick had to take the kitchen door off its hinges.

As if that weren't enough, they got it in the hole and pushed a little way back when we realized it was too high! This had not occurred to me. I had measured several times to make sure it wasn't too wide for the hole, but I assumed fridges were just a standard height. I never even thought to check this. It turns out that fridges come in three categories: 59", 60" - 68" and over 68". I didn't feel as bad when Anne and Rick both assured me it wouldn't have occurred to them either. They've bought several new refrigerators over the years and never checked.

So then Rick used my jig saw to cut about half an inch of trim off the bottom of the cabinet but then he discovered as he approached the wall that there was a corner mounting thing attaching the cabinet to the wall that was going to make the hole about 0.25" too narrow even once the trim was cut short. AAAAAGH! Banging ensued. I discovered later that Rick was using a hammer and flat-bladed screwdriver to try to chip enough off of that piece for the fridge to fit. I didn't realize that at the time because Anne and I were sitting on the couch, waiting for the guys to finish their part so we could reload all the food. Rick finally gave up and said he'd have to return tomorrow with the proper tools.

"If I had a chisel, I could do it, but of course I didn't think to bring one - we were moving a refrigerator!" he said.

"Oh, a chisel? I've got a chisel," said I, and rummaged through my red toolbox. For some reason now lost in time, I had a mammoth chisel. I know it's from my dad's set of many chisels but I don't know why I borrowed it. Anyway, I went back inside and handed Rick this huge chisel with a razor-sharp blade. His eyes widened and he said, "Yeah, that's a chisel all right! That'll work."

So to recap, instead of helping Alan with a quick appliance swap, Rick had to take a door off its hinges, saw over three feet off a cabinet trim piece, chisel out a chunk of cabinet and replace the door as well as maneuver and wrestle the appliances.

He's coming back later in the week to hook up the ice maker/water dispenser. I think we're going to be taking them to dinner many, many times.

I'm sorry it turned into such an ordeal when I believed originally that I was asking for a fairly minor favor. Still, I'm sooo glad I asked them, because Rick is so very handy and knowledgeable. I wouldn't have had a clue about how to proceed if we'd run into such problems with just the two of us here. Way to earn that Chianti dinner, buddy! You can have appetizers and dessert! (He could order the lobster if he wanted, but he won't - he'll order the Dover sole.)


  • Having bought a few refrigerators in my life, I do know about all those measurements. I just wish they still made harvest gold appliances! As for fridges, I like a small one because it's just the two of us and we have a tiny kitchen. The one we have now is nice in that it can be reconfigured inside with movable shelving. Also, has a light in the freezer.Didn't know how much I had come to appreciate that until we lived in SF for 15 months with a not-so-good older refrigerator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 AM  

  • Our new one has those movable shelves and a light in the freezer, too. The old one did not.

    It's a shame we don't live closer.

    I am about to make you very, very jealous.

    The old fridge? Harvest gold. For real.

    Well, the front is white but I only painted the parts you could see, so the front and half of one side is white, but the rest? Harvest gold.

    By Blogger Helly, at 7:46 PM  

  • Too funny! I guess you don't like harvest gold? Our range and oven is still the original harvest gold. They both still work just fine and so we will keep them until I have to give them up. I haven't been able to get a harvest gold dishwasher in two decades.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:13 PM  

  • Not so much a dislike of harvest gold but a dislike of NOT MATCHING! I had to replace the stove top and range hood, white was the nicest (least objectionable) thing available when that happened, and then my appliances DID. NOT. MATCH. Which WOULD. NOT. DO. I am a very matchy sort of person. I have been known to comb through the lingerie drawer in search of a pale pink nightie, rejecting blue, bright pink, black and green, because I was ALREADY wearing pale pink underwear.

    Yes, I know there are places where people like me can get help...

    By Blogger Helly, at 9:10 PM  

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