Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Freezer – Part Two

It was a tense week. The freezer was on life support. I checked it once/day to make sure things were still frozen. Defrosting and the newspaper lining seemed to have helped as everything – even along the sides - was solid. The weather was also cooperating as it wasn’t as hot as it had been – even a bit below normal for a few days. I also checked the motor every day. It was still too hot to touch. As far as I could tell, the motor was running pretty much nonstop. I was a bit scared of it causing a fire but was afraid that if I unplugged it every once in awhile to cool down that it may not start again.

The freezer sits in a corner of my living room, so Friday night I moved my dining table and coffee table so that it would be easy to access the freezer for moving. About 8:00 Saturday morning, I unplugged it long enough to pull it out and clean the floor underneath then moved it back and plugged it in again. The new freezer would arrive sometime between 8:30 and 1:30.

The delivery men called about 10:30 to say they were almost here. They buzzed my apartment 10 minutes later and had it in place and running by 10:50. Had there been a suitably cold place for me to keep the contents of the old freezer while the new one cooled down, I could have sent the old one with the delivery guys for proper disposal. Unfortunately, I had no extra space and it was too warm that day to leave things out for more than an hour even if I covered them with blankets.

The disposal would be my responsibility. Oh, goody!

The new freezer is a bit different than the old one. The old one was 31 ½” L x 24” D x 34 ¾” H. This one is 35 ¼” L x 23 ¾” D x 34” H. Minor adjustments in positioning but doable. The old one had a half shelf above the motor cavity on the right side but this one has a shelf the full width of the freezer on the left side. I would have to organize things in a different manner. Annoying for someone who is as organized as I am but I’ll manage!
The other major difference was the basket. The old one had a big, plastic coated wire basket and the new one had a smaller, plastic basket that looked like something from the dollar store! Actually, I had two baskets for the old one. I had ordered an additional one when I got it so that I could organize things better. At first attempt, the old baskets would not fit as they were just a smidgen too big - but because they were wire under the plastic, I was able to bend the frame just enough so that they fit on the sliding track along the top! YES!

I had everything transferred by about 12:30 or so. Luckily nothing else had to be thrown out! PHEW!!
Now, what was I going to do with the old one? I couldn’t just take it out back of the building as there are bylaws regarding disposal of appliances and bulky items. I knew that I couldn’t do anything till at least Monday so it sat in my living room where my coffee table normally sat.

I decided to wait until Tuesday morning when the building manager would be in the office. He said I would have to call the city’s 311 non emergency line to arrange for a pickup. I sat on hold for about 7 minutes only to be told that because it was a freezer there would be a $20 fee to deal with the Freon! I explained that I didn’t have money to pay for that as I’d thrown out $20 worth of meat and spent $400 on a new one including $60 delivery and taxes! The operator said that I’d either have to pay the fee or find someone to take it to the Brady Landfill for me. I explained that I was legally blind and didn’t even know anyone with a truck here in the city. The only other suggestion she had was to find a company that would pick it up for free. I asked if she knew of any and she said I should check the yellow pages then hung up on me. Gee thanks!

I went down to talk to the manager again and asked if he knew of any companies that could pick it up. He didn’t, but pulled out the yellow pages and started looking for me. He made a couple of calls and found a scrap metal place that would pick it up for free. He left a message on the driver’s cell for him to call me and arrange pickup. The driver called that afternoon and said he could pick it up on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning, I borrowed a large dolly from the caretaker and managed to manoeuvre the old freezer onto it. I had also taken a black felt pen and in several places written “DOES NOT WORK” and “DOES NOT FREEZE SOLID” on both the outside and inside of the freezer. I didn’t want someone to take it thinking that they had found a free freezer only to find out the hard way that it didn’t work or even worse that the motor caused a fire. The freezer was out by the dumpsters by about 9:15. I left a message for the driver and he picked it up that afternoon. I checked with a friend who is on that side of the building directly above the dumpsters and she had seen the truck from the company I called pick it up.

I’m going to miss that old freezer. It worked really well until a year or so ago and served my needs well. The new one is going to take a little getting used to but I’m sure I will adjust. I just hope it lasts as long as the old one.

How would I ever live without a freezer? I really don’t know and I never want to come that close again to finding out!


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