Somewhere early in our time of living in this house – the property that includes the Red Barn – my wife and I bought a freezer. And then we got another, free, which also found a space in the barn. (Somebody was moving and couldn’t take it with them. So we came to their rescue.)

These two upright chests were great for stocking up on grocery specials, as well as banking our garden harvests and a lot of prepped dinners. How did we ever live without them?

When I was employed, these towering white caches were a source for many of my dinners at the office – and I was surprised by how much money we saved as a result. Cuban black bean soup, anyone? Just one of the specialties made in quantity and stored in serving-size plastic containers. As for our side-street harvest of real tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, blueberries and raspberries, eggplant, and more? Or loaves of homemade bread? Or the marked-down meats found at Market Basket? How could we live without them, indeed.

Both freezers were packed to the proverbial gills. And maybe then some.

From my perspective, this was glorious. What would we do for Sunday dinner? How about a roast chicken? How perfect! Some weeks we needed little more than fresh milk from the store.

But! This winter brought two disasters. First, one freezer died, and that meant salvaging what we could, seeking homes for some of the packages elsewhere (elder daughter, especially, rushing to the rescue), along with an orgy of using up what treasures we could.

All this happened, mind you, before the scheduled defrosting of the freezers and reorganizing of the contents, a delay prompted by other household crises.

My, what feasts while they lasted!

And then, before we’d cleared our way free, the other freezer died. This was getting serious! There was no margin left.

Some of the meat, having thawed, went straight into the trash. No value in having people getting sick. A few hams and pork tenderloins were gifted to neighbors, if we could catch them. Elder daughter had a few more spaces in her freezer and refrigerator, bless her. (Younger daughter, the vegetarian, lives too far away for consultation.)

Skip ahead a few steps, and we have a store-bought new freezer. The second one, cross your fingers, seems to be working again. The dead one’s gone to the city dump aka recycling center, via a borrowed pickup. (Yes, my back and ribs are still aching.) Some of the thawed meat has been cooked into sauces and the like and returned in new form to the new freezer. And we’re grilling each chance we can.

Oh, there’s so much more I could be saying.

But at least our life seems to be back in some kind of balance.

I hope. Now, back to the intense rounds of planting the garden. We’ve got to stay ahead of the weeds — and the advancing daylight.



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