Ice Cube Trays

Earlier this year, I assumed sometime over the summer, perhaps June or so, my refrigerator broke and I needed to buy a new one. Before writing this post, I decided to look at the receipt to see whether it was June or later.

Consider me shocked.

The refrigerator was delivered at the end of April.

I’ve been on the road for so many weeks this year, I’ve totally lost track of time. And now, after getting home from five consecutive weeks away, I’m trying to restore some semblance of order in my life, but it hasn’t been easy.

There are a bazillion little things that I need to do and have not been doing because I wasn’t home to do them. Of course there are the obvious tasks like sifting through weeks worth of mail delivered while I was away (barely started), or getting some groceries (got a few things), or less tangible tasks like re-adjusting once more to this time zone (not going well).

And then there are other tasks, insidious tasks, that lead to a lack of comfort in my life. And until I take care of them, they don’t get done and I live without.

Thus, the lack of ice in my home.

You see, I bought a refrigerator that needed to be a certain size to fit up the stairs of the 100+ year old building where I live. And the model I got has an automatic ice maker. That would be lovely, if I could hook the refrigerator up to a water source to produce the ice – but I can’t – because I live in a 100+ year old building that wasn’t constructed to provide a water source to a refrigerator 100 years in the future. And so, when I bought the refrigerator it did not come with “old fashioned” ice cube trays.

And it is very easy to buy ice cube trays. You just go to the store and buy them. But when you are home for 48 hours, have to do laundry, pack a suitcase and run to the airport again, there is no time to dedicate to the frivolity of ice cube trays. The lack of ice at home is inconsequential in those circumstances.

You may laugh when you see how shocked I am that I have not had ice in my house since April, but to me, it is a serious matter. It means that in so many ways, my life is frayed at the seams and I must expend significant energy to get my home life back on track.

So it was, last night, that I decided I wanted to find the most decadent ice cube trays I could find for my empty freezer. I toddled over to my neighborhood Bits, Bytes and Beautification and found a regular set of ice cube trays (sadly, I only had to pay $2.99) and another set of tiny half-inch cubette ice cube trays for another $2.99. When I got them home, I filled each tray with bottled spring water and slid them onto the shelves.

It was a miracle to have ice in my water today. I haven’t had ice in my drinks at home in six months.

Now you’ll have to please excuse me, I have some mail to read, laundry to wash, and a suitcase to put on the shelf… for now.

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12 hour travel fog

Somehow I find myself with a WiFi connection here in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota so I’m going to write a post.

Even though in the depths of my hazy brain I realize it is probably not a good idea.

Well actually, definitely not a good idea.

Oh yeah, this is gonna be a RANT.

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BIG TIME.

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Got up at 7am this morning, puttered around the house making sure I watered the plants, packed odds and ends I forgot the previous night (I still forgot stuff, like the cable that connects my camera and my laptop) and generally girded my loins for what was to come. I knew I had quite the day in store.

Drove to the airport and did what I never do, parked in long term parking. Realized after I got there that it’s astronomically expensive. Oh well. Walked to the bus stop, in a similar way Steve Martin walked to his bus stop in Planes, Trains and Automobiles except I did not fall down a snow bank and no John Candy selling plastic shower rings. (Love that movie.)

Got the shuttle to the terminal. Printed out my boarding pass. Read boarding pass.

Re-read boarding pass.

Realized I was in the wrong terminal. 😦

Got on the “air train” monorail (this is at Newark Airport, EWR, by the way) to get to the correct terminal. Realized, as the train began moving, I was going in the wrong direction. Le Sigh.

Got off air train, then back on, then back off when I finally arrived at the right terminal.

Okay – got thru security okay, got on the flight…non-stop thank goodness. Drank some water. Didn’t take a nap. Looked out the window. Hey, there’s Lake Michigan.

Arrived in Minneapolis, hooray!

Now I am HALFWAY to where I need to go.

Oh, yeah.

Crap.

Got my bag, and headed towards the car rental counter. Found every other car rental company except the name of my no-name car rental company (thank you Expedia.) It turns out, my car rental company operates out of a closet.

I wish I was lying about this.

I’m not.

I walked back and forth, went up and down escalators, searched high and low. Nada. Nothing.

Sooo, I CALLED the car rental company to find out where they were and got directions from the woman INSIDE the terminal to find out where they were.

She was all like, ‘we’re right here, just go down a level.’ I’m like, ‘What? I was just there?’ And she was all, ‘No, you have to keep walking ALL the way down the hall and look to the right.’

What she should have said was look for the closet. The one you can’t find because there is no signage. We’re in there. And then I would have been like, OH, why didn’t you say so?!

O-kay, I find the closet. Sign my life away for the rental car. Get shuttle to the place where the cars are kept. I rented an economy car (I don’t really need to explain that because you already guessed, right?) and when I got there they upgraded me to a Kia Soul in lime green for the same price. Since lime green is one of my favorite colors, and the Kia Soul is pretty cute, I’d say I’m happy for a moment. A little slice of lime green happiness just for me. Yay!

When I think about it now, I should have savored that more at the time – but how was I to know?

Well, here was the first clue: I ask for directions to my location.

Everybody, and I do mean ALL FIVE PEOPLE at the car rental place give me a blank stare and hand me a map. They’re like, hmm, I’ve never been there before, I don’t know the best way to get there. Where is it?

Note: When people who LIVE in the state ask you where you are going because they never heard of the place, this is NOT a good sign.

I’m all like, ‘never mind, I see it on the map, I’ll figure it out.’

Then I get on the road. The road is a highway, which at first is leading me out of Minneapolis. So get this kids – Minneapolis has traffic jams! YES, they do, I swear it – I was in one this afternoon! Crazy.

So I get out of the urban center, and I’m driving along this highway and thinking, hmm, there isn’t much along this highway. It’s flat, and beige-brown with maybe a tree and a McDonalds thrown in every once in a while, but the highway is like that FOR HOURS.

And I’m driving and driving and driving, and when I see two or three cows on a farm site I’m so grateful because there are black and white lumps meandering over the beige landscape.

The drive I drove? Tiring. After all that nonsense in the morning, then more nonsense with the car rental thing… and then four and a half hours of beige, well kids, that was about all I could take.

I got the hotel where the wedding is being held tomorrow and checked in. I decide, in my exhaustion, that I should probably eat something because I suddenly realize I haven’t eaten anything in 12 hours and it probably didn’t help me while I was driving into the beige.

I take the elevator down to the ground floor and walk over to the restaurant – and then I see it. Now I realize why I’m here in the middle of nowhere.

There is a lake.

It’s right outside the ceiling to floor windows just outside the restaurant. And there are two loons swimming in the lake. They’re beautiful.

I manage to score a window booth at the restaurant – which is packed by the way – and just look at the ducks and loons swimming on this magnificent lake with a sandy beach just steps away from where I’m having dinner.

And you know…it relaxes me. All the ridiculous that happened today melts away and it hits me: my nephew, who I knew when he was just a bitty baby, is getting married tomorrow.

I’m glad I’ll be here to see it.