This morning I dug through my old photos looking for this picture. I know that Patrick is just adorable at one year old but what I really want you to see is my brown “earth-tone” refrigerator circa 1970-80! Notice the stuff on top of it also. I can guarantee you that it was “stuffed” inside as well. Just look at little Patrick. Does he look like an underfed child?
A couple weeks ago I was invited to a brunch at a friend’s house and I was riveted by their large and fancy two door side by side refrigerator with the water/ice component in the door. I opened it to look inside and it was chock full of food. I have fantasized about that refrigerator since then.
Several years ago, in a very timely manner, my then very plain and functional white frig decided to retire in protest of Peter my youngest son and biggest eater’s exodus for college life. It created quite a stir in my house. “Mom! You don’t need a big refrigerator any more. We’re all gone!” This resulted in a group shopping trip- seemingly a rite of passage for me into the empty nest phase of life- with Robert and Patrick- #1 and #2 sons. We settled on a tidy and sensible 18 sq. foot frig that seemed to be appropriate for one single woman who would prefer to have a glass of wine and a handful of peanuts for dinner. (Is that what happens after 25 years of cooking dinner every night?)
At the time I could not identify the pall of sadness that had come over me. Hmm.. an 18 sq. ft. refrigerator. Not much room for an abundance of food. Certainly a sign of minimal love. But I understood the rationale behind it and succumbed to wisdom of my well fed sons.
After this purchase every grocery shopping trip put me into a tail spin as I tried my best to fit everything into that little icebox. It seemed that there was only one spot for each item- much like a puzzle that you have to work on for hours.
The moment of truth arrived when Peter came home for a weekend from UCSB, tried to get the milk back into the frig and hollered “Geeze! I can’t get anything into this frig!” He was certainly stunned with my knee jerk reaction which was to call the store and have them come and get it- restocking fee and all. Money is no object when it comes to love! Peter strained to see the connection at the time and so did I.
But since then it has all become clear. There is actually a mathematical formula for it and here it is:
The total square footage of your refrigerator = the total amount of food you can stuff in there = the total amount of love you can provide for someone = abundance and joy!
So to make a long story even longer I must tell you that this 22 sq. ft. Maytag (the largest frig I could get into my existing space) decided to go on strike the day before Christmas 2010. Even Kenny, my trusty Morgan Hill appliance MD, couldn’t revive it! Sixteen people for a sit down dinner on Christmas Day and no refrigeration! All three sons were home and the question arose… “Mom. Do you want us to go refrigerator shopping with you?” (Pause here for a silent mother’s prayer..)
I’m delighted to tell you that I recently acquired a new 22 sq. ft. LG refrigerator. I am still lusting after the 26 sq. footer with the double doors and the water/ice dispenser in the door but this will do for now. I want to provide the most food that I can for whomever wants it. Maybe not a growing family anymore but there are many people who come into my life that need a little food… and a lot of love.
Food is love. Amen.