Let’s Talk with Lois Winston

Can appliances get Covid-19? It’s a question I’ve been pondering for a year now.

By Lois Winston

A few months before the pandemic turned our world upside-down and inside-out, my stove died. In March of last year when the pandemic was getting really bad in New Jersey, my son was so worried that he suggested we drive down to Nashville to stay with him and his family. We figured we’d be there maybe three weeks before everything blew over. We wound up staying two months.

The universe has a twisted sense of humor.

We arrived home to find our refrigerator had developed a bad case of cracked seals (not the aquatic kind!) The fridge was twelve years old. Replacing the seals made no sense. So we set out to buy a new refrigerator in the middle of a pandemic. Again the universe laughed at our naiveté.

Even though we’d had our choice of refrigerators back when we bought the current one, it now seemed that there was only one make and model that would fit in the space, due to the way our kitchen is configured. And that fridge was on backorder. We were told it might take upwards of two months. We placed a deposit and hoped for the best.

Two months stretched into three, then four, then five. Finally we had a delivery date. The refrigerator arrived at the warehouse—damaged. That was back in October, five months ago. I’m still waiting for the replacement while the old one continues to die a slow death.

But while this was going on, the universe kept laughing. Over the course of the last six months, the dishwasher also died, then the clothes dryer. Neither could be repaired. And because we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, appliances are as scarce as vaccine appointments. (Yes, my husband and I are still waiting for ours!)

Thanks to the pandemic, the new dishwasher cost twice what I would normally pay, not because of price-gouging but because the only available model was a high-end one from Europe. And yes, I know I could wash dishes by hand, but we’re about to sell the house. So we really had to replace the dishwasher before the For Sale sign goes up.

We did get a break on a dryer, though. We were able to buy one that had been returned to the warehouse because the customer who ordered it found some microscopic scratches in the finish. My laundry is in an unfinished section of my basement. I can live with microscopic scratches; I can’t live with hanging laundry outside in the middle of winter.

Compared to what some people are dealing with right now, these are minor annoyances. I’m not really complaining so much as rolling my eyes at the gotcha the universe has seen fit to dump on me. At least someone is laughing.

And the big question remains—which will we get first, our refrigerator or our vaccine appointments?

What about you? How are you coping? Can you rely on your sense of humor? Meditation? Chocolate? Wine? Whine? Or whine with your wine? Or perhaps you get in the car, roll up the windows, and scream for a minute every so often. Hey, whatever works, right?

Speaking of humor, if you like humor with your mysteries, check out my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.

And for those visiting the blog on March 18 only: this is the last day of our March contest. Zip over and enter today. Click here.

Comments

  1. We’ve been lucky with appliances, mostly because we replaced long before the pandemic. however, we did have a faucet in our second bath that developed a leak that was becoming worse by the day. Had to shut off the water until we feel comfy bringing in a plumber, but it’s nothing like what you’ve gone through. I count myself as lucky!

    • Since we’re getting ready to put our house on the market, we’ve been forced to have workmen here, but everyone is very Covid conscious and following the guidelines.

  2. The appliance shortage is not just from pandemic slow-ups. In just our ONE fire in California, the CZU, 60,000 people had to be evacuated. When people fled their homes, they had no time to clean out their refrigerators. Many of them were displaced for weeks, even months. When those lucky enough to return went back to their homes, their refrigerators were full of rotten food, the smell so bad that the appliances were unsalvageable. And trying to get a new refrigerator, near impossible!

    • That’s a side-effect of a fire I never considered. Burned out, okay, the fridge is gone. But you just can’t get back and it’s just sitting there…oh man, talk about an ugly situation!

    • Vinnie, that must have been awful. I had to deal with my in-law’s fridge after a tornado knocked out power for several days while they were away. All the frozen food had defrosted, and the ice cream was a puddle of soup on the kitchen floor. The worst part of the cleanup besides the stench was all the ants that had been attracted to the rotting food. Would have been nice to get a thank-you for my efforts…but I did get even. My mother-in-law became the inspiration forI my amateur sleuth’s nasty mother. ;-D

  3. Sorry for your woes. We are dealing with a steady parade of workmen in our new house. The workers come in and the money goes out. But hey, we are healthy (knock wood and kinehoreh) so I can’t complain. Things will get done …eventually. How do I cope? A glass of wine with dinner. A Hallmark movie on TV. And then an escapist novel for my bedtime reading.

  4. lordy, lordy, lordy. I’ve bought an a/c system and luckily, they had mine in stock. I bought a washer and dryer, not a problem. Now the upstairs a/c system is bad and a new one goes in next week. I feel so lucky compared to your experiences, Lois. Maybe move my way??

    • Actually, we are moving, Vicki, which makes all these appliance expenditures that much worse. Our house is going on the market right after Easter.

  5. Both our washer and dryer, and then our fridge croaked between last March and this March. And the year before we replaced our dishwasher, mostly because it wasn’t doing its job. They were all at the end of their shelf lives but that didn’t make it any better. Worse, as you said, supply has been incredibly limited during the pandemic. But I guess we have good appliance karma because we were able to get a nice fridge next day, while the washer and dryer were delivered within a week or two. I think we’re finished with replacing major appliances for the time being. We’re actually getting thru the plague quite well as we’re down here in Florida, so our screams are only intermittent. 🙂

  6. cherylhollon says

    We bought a vintage condo built in the 1950s. It’s solid as a rock, but when i have to replace the appliances — they’re all tiny and I expect they’ll have to come from Europe as well. I’m betting you get your vaccines before appliances. LOL

  7. I don’t know, Debra, there’s nothing like a good primordial scream every now and then. ;-D

  8. We coped by building a new house — took care of replacing all those 15 year old appliances. Other than that, I like your idea of getting in the car…. but we took drives rather than screaming.