Teri Orr: COVID calamities continued…
Dear gentle reader,
While my physical body remains healthy and my mental capacities are at least about the same as they were before the pandemic — my surroundings continue to confound me. In the fall, a pipe froze — then burst when I was out of the house running errands. It took four full months including the holidays — which never really happened, with my family anyway this year — to finish the repairs. I have now spent three months of relative norm — getting both of my COVID vaccines and having no more than normal annoying reactions.
Last week — while trying to grab ice cubes for a much-needed fully adult beverage I found the freezer drawer of my fridge to be stuck. Try as I could — it would not budge. I asked my sweet neighbor for an assist. He came over — as one does in such a serious situation — with a crowbar in hand. My well-loved Sears appliance was not giving up the freezer drawer nor the ghost. The best guess was the ice-maker had somehow sprung a leak — sprayed water in places water did not belong and froze up. I called a repair company on Friday that promised a serviceman on a Saturday afternoon. My daughter and son-in-law came up from Salt Lake City and helped me find the water valve to the ice maker under the house in the crawl space and through the pantry and shut it off. I would need to unplug the fridge to begin the great meltdown. I headed to Home Depot for only the second time in over a year and purchased coolers for the regular fridge food. The freezer food — fully stocked during COVID — would all be unsalvageable.
The appliance man who arrived was polite and efficient and told me I would not need a new appliance. The Sears model I had was actually built by Maytag or Whirlpool or maybe both but nonetheless the fridge and freezer would heal. He would order the needed parts and I would keep putting towels down in the kitchen to absorb the melting mess.
As I write this I am hours away from the return of the serviceman and his parts, or more accurately my part for the freezer. The repair folks will call me when he is within an hour of arrival — which is terrific. I will answer that call on my cellphone that currently has a literal band-aid on the corner. Because my new phone, purchased just in February, has a shattered corner of the glass face. Somehow the phone became wedged in a part of my car, and by me extracting it, the glass shattered.
The insurance I paid for on my cellphone — for damage exactly like this — turned out to not actually be with AT&T but with a third party. I was told I could take the mythical/biblical trip to Bountiful or they will have a service human come to my home next week. The band-aid I placed over the screen — after getting just the tiniest of glass shards in my fingers — reminds me how the tiniest grain of sand gets inside an oyster and can become a pearl.
This entire winter feels like a pearl of great price if ever there was one.
I am, as of this writing, one full week into takeout meals and simple tea with toast and Cokes with bagged ice from the bright blue coolers on the back porch. I am certain my new neighbors must be impressed with the early Clampetts look that sprung up overnight for them. The reefer man is due back today for a featured appearance to access the melted Kenmore after more than a full dozen large bathsheets have become totally soaked in all stages of the great meltdown. The washer and dryer seem to be up to the task but I take nothing for granted anymore. I find myself talking to all the appliances — as I have done for years with my car. I thank them for their service and encourage them to keep working well. I never considered I should ’preciate the fridge also. I will add to my list all things electronic given my ability to rearrange my files and change passwords to my computer without being anywhere near it.
My hoped-for trip to the Southern Utah desert — before the seasonal busloads show up disgorging guests upon the hour — appears to a dream deferred. Wherever normal is hiding I think the game of peek-a-boo should be shelved right about now.
And just to make all this feel even more special, the oft-reported-on pink moon I have seen every night/early morning this week. Not by design with intent, but by invasion. This full moon is on a pattern that invades my bedroom around 2 a.m. and moves around until it has entered each of the windows at different times. I like being a creature who sleeps and rises with the natural light and I haven’t used an alarm clock for decades. Yes, I have drapes and they can close but mostly I like to rise as the light shifts. Except when the full moon dances through my bedroom. It doesn’t happen every month, sometimes the stormy weather or clouds hide the moon. But when the moon and the clouds go to the trouble to create such a spectacular display in a clear night sky, it seems the least I can do is get up and look out and be grateful for the pull of the moon. It only lasts in this startling way a few more days and it should be on the wan (taking drama with it) this very Sunday in the Park…
Teri Orr is a former editor of The Park Record. She is the founder of the Park City Institute, which provides programming for the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts. She has been a member of the TED community since 2007 and founded TEDxParkCity in 2009.
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“There are times when the universe just sets you spinning and last weekend was one of those,” writes Teri Orr.