I am getting used to the term ‘widow’.
Well, I’m not really.
I don’t feel unmarried to be honest.
The title distrubs me in some ways. But in others ways, it seems God has prepared me for handling some of the things that a widow is called to handle. Like, I am not likely to panic when things break down.
(Don’t canvas my men to substantiate this fact.)
I have a long history of problem solving, some have even called me a fixer, especially with regards to appliances or machines, that I might take apart with the intent of putting them back together in better shape… DO NOT ask my brother about the bicycle.
(And don’t ask my men if they agree with that statement either. They have a limited view of my successes.)
Because living as long as I have, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff and all that stuff breaks. Most of the time in clusters, which may or may not be statistically relevant. And because my dad never let us sit idle when a job needed to be done and we were supposed to see what needed to be done without being told, I am willing to give almost anything a shot. Even when I have no idea what I am doing.
My success rate has greatly improved with YouTube and google.
As things broke down over our 45 years, Silent Bob generally looked to me to determine if I was going to be able to do any repair, using his brawn where mine was lacking, my later years marked with increasing confidence in my abilities. (YouTube). And then there was my safety net, my sons and brother.
So, when I passed by my refrigerator Friday night, it was obvious that something was amiss. Everything that was supposed to be lit up and active wasn’t. I could hear a hum, which was confirmed when the bottom freezer drawer wafted cold air, but there were none of those attractive LEDS glowing across milk cartons and leftovers.
Okay, so I may have exhibited a tiny bit of angst. I really didn’t want to consider worst case scenarios here, which I am prone to indulge in.
I pulled myself together.
Everyone knows the first course of action with anything electrical is to unplug the dad-blasted thing.
I pulled the frig away from the wall, sort of, and managed to unplug it. Waiting a very impatient 10 seconds, sprawled across the counter, my attempts to plug the dad-blasted plug back into the wall failed. Apparently, my arm had gotten shorter in the wait.
Exasperated. I stopped. Middle son stood in my galley kitchen.
“Jan, what exactly are you doing?” he said, assessing my difficulty and taking the cord from my hand. He moved to stretch his long, strong arm to the back of the frig but he stopped and looked at me. He was waiting for an explanation.
“Nothing is on,” I said.
“What do you mean nothing is on?”
After further explanation, I stood at the front of the frig, while son much more patiently and with greater finesse than I, plugged the frig in.
An alpha numeric code flashed, very briefly, across the face of the electronic panel.
And then everything went out again. Except the motor. She was humming along quietly.
“I think I just saw an error code,” trying desperately to remember what it was.
“What?!” middle son said again.
“I think it flashed SA 66”, I said. Wow, you’d think if an appliance wanted you to note an error code it would have been on for more than 2 seconds…
“What?!” middle son said again.
I fiddled with my smart phone.
I thought briefly about asking Alexa.
When nothing came up in my google search, middle son made a suggestion.
“Maybe you aren’t remembering it right,”
Geez it was only 4 letters. Or numbers… whatever.
I tried a number of combinations, until I hit a thread post that said some friges were programmed to go into ‘sabbath mode’.
Middle son performed the two button hold combination suggested, and my frig lit up in all the right places.
“I guess in sabbath mode the frig can do no extra work”, he laughed.
I can’t say I wasn’t relieved. I might be a fixer widow these days, but I do feel somewhat out of my element with complex electronics. And I really hate broken things.
“But how did it get turned on,” I said, “I’ve never seen this before.”
Middle son was getting him some coffee.
The coffeepot is right next to Alexa.
Briefly, a little blue ring flashed around Alexa’s top.
“Maybe Alexa made her do it,” middle son said, jokingly.
We both looked at the little round, black cannister.
Alexa beeped, very, very quietly, kind of song like.
Only for a second or two and as middle son and I listened, I could swear it sounded a bit like music… faintly, very faintly, the beeps sounded almost like ‘Lekhah Dodi’…
We both looked at each other.
“I’d say we just mark this down to its fixed,” middle son said wisely, walking out of the kitchen. “Don’t overthink this one,” he said over his shoulder.
Note: This is a mostly true story. Mostly. Some friges do have sabbath mode. And I do believe in a certain kind of supernatural. A very real kind. It is what sustains me. Truly. I however, do not think that Alexa has the ability to talk to my refrigerator. Mostly.