by Ben Small
Crisis in our family. Stress Week. Panic Central. The family is coming to visit, starting tomorrow. Six adults, one three year old girl.
So, of course, everything has gone wrong. First, we suffered a natural gas outing for four days. No warning, little advice on when it would flow again. Cold showers, no heat, frigid temperatures...in Tucson.
Bundled up like an Eskimo, my wife laid out an agenda. Every visit day covered: activities, meals plus a birthday party for the three year old. So we went to Costco to stock up, and so my wife could hopefully do all the cooking in advance.
That's when we realized we had no room for all the frozen stuff.
So we bought a freezer, added it to the mess in the garage.
Then the refrigerator died. My wife swiped my beer refrigerator, emptied out all my coveted brews, and stacked it full with perishable stuff. Some of this stuff wouldn't fit, but the GE guy said he'd come over immediately and fix the fridge.
But the fridge needed a part, an expensive one. We weighed just buying a new fridge, and could have had it installed before the kids arrived, but GE said no sweat; they'd repair the problem well before deadline.
So we waited. Day after day, as the panic level rose and more unstashed food spoiled. We called GE. The technician was sick, they said. Had the flu. We asked for another technician, but were told the one assigned had the part, it was expensive, and GE wouldn't send another part and assign another technician.
So we waited again. Each day, we'd get a call, saying the technician was still sick but would be out "tomorrow."
Tomorrow took a week.
So the kids arrive in less than twenty-four hours, the fridge got fixed today, and we're off to Costco again to buy more of the stuff we bought before.
And that's the easy part. Now my wife is cooking up a storm, while I clean up and do other chores. Sweeping, vacuuming, assembling presents and a car seat.
Who said retirement is easy?
P.S. I saved the beer.