Commode To Joy

finding happy (even in the crappy)

Polar Vortex for the Win

I stopped by Kroger Monday to stock up for the polar vortex. When I get to the dairy section—we keep the yogurt section in business—three workers are pulling inventory as fast as possible.

One of the employees is from my hometown. “What’s going on?” I ask.

“Oh, the cooling unit went out. We have to pull everything and throw it away,” she says. “I’ve called a repair person.”

“It’s too bad you can’t put it outside given the cold temps.”

But you know, #rules

I nab some yogurt in the knick of time and continue on my way.

Two days later…

All of Central Illinois (ahem, the whole state) shut down for the polar vortex. Schools, retailers, and every known kid-attraction closed due to cold.

After a strenuous pajama day complete with HotWheels races and a movie, Miller and I are ready for our afternoon snack. I go to the fridge to discover…dunzo. Nothing. No light and no cool air. The fridge lost its frigid. God bless.

Fortunately there’s still time to call the appliance repair department during regular business hours. But what to do with the food? I don’t want to toss it, and I also don’t want to have to go to the store again in the cold…

By now Miller’s crying because, “What about my granola with yogurt?” In his world, Armageddon’s arrived on the heels of the Antarctic.

There’s a space between inconvenience and losing your shit where opportunity lies.

That’s where I find myself.

I take pause and rewind back to the Kroger dairy aisle.

“It’s too bad you can’t put it outside given the cold temps…”

Polar vortex for the win.

I have the coolers out and stocked lickety-split. It’s so cold out, they don’t even need placed outside; the garage is plenty sufficient.

In CC order: A Meijer find to transport leftovers home from Indiana; a birthday gift for Muscato; a Lou Malnati’s reusable.

The appliance repairman gets the fridge running with a temporary fix and a replacement part on order. I don’t bother restocking it, just in case the temporary fix is a flop.

We carry on with our evening, which includes dropping Miller off to play with friends while us adults go to dinner. (Author’s note: rather than hiring two separate sitters to play with your kids, hire one sitter to watch the kids play. It’s the winningest of wins.)

You know what’s not a win? Dumping your leftovers all over the kitchen floor when you return home from dinner.

God Bless.

Then again, maybe it’s a good thing. As Muscato watched me toss my salmon and veggies back into the container—you’re darn right I’m still gonna eat it—I saw the metaphoric lightbulb illuminate his face.

“Jamie, why are you messing with coolers when we have a fridge in the garage?”


Fancy-pants Muscato with his steel-trap of a memory while mine’s located with the colanders.

When I set out to write this installment, I was all for encouraging you, my dear reader, to take pause when faced with a problem. To picture Inconvenience waving a checkered flag – Stop! Take a breath! Think this through instead of roiling with rage!

Listen. In the absence of the fridge’s cool, I kept mine. I thought it through. I came up with what I thought was an excellent solution. Lemons meet lemonade and all that.

One day later…

I found a meme on Instagram by @positivelypresent that says “It’s okay if you’re still trying to figure out what’s good for you.”

You know what’s not good for me? Berating myself for every stupid thing I do. Instead, I’ve started laughing a bit more…not at myself, per se. More like, seeing circumstances for what they are and finding humor in them. Case in point: planting flowers in the dark, trusting a fart, and destroying my brother’s house.

While I’m the first to admit I’m not as smart as my counterpart, I am resourceful with a decent sense of humor. That seems to be really good for me.

And, if you’re curious:

  1. My leftovers were delish;
  2. our yogurt supply is strong; and
  3. our fridge is fully functioning.

So tell me, what’s good for you?

Categories: Encouragement, Odes To Joy

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