Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grandma's fridge

For some reason today, I've been thinking of Grandma Woodruff's refrigerator and how milk tasted so good when it came from inside her fridge.

Grandma owned one refrigerator. One. They bought it after they got electricity at the farm, in the mid 1950's. They had that fridge when Grandad died in 1986, and Grandma still had it in 1995 when she died. It was still running too.

Like all fridge's built in the 50's, it was boxy, had one door, with the small freezer compartment inside. That freezer held ice cube trays (yes, the metal ones) and not much else. Grandma's fridge was never as full as what mine is. It wasn't as big, but she didn't put everything it in like we do today.

I always enjoyed drinking a glass of milk at Grandma's house. She bought it in 1/2 gallons, and they were in those cardboard boxes. The milk wasn't as cold as most, and it tasted different. I imagine it was because it was in a cardboard box instead of plastic. Maybe it was just me, but milk tasted better at Grandma's.

Isn't it funny...I can see that fridge. I can remember how you pulled the tall handle back and down to open the door--not far, just enough to hear that click which was your cue that the latch had released. I can remember the color of the wire shelves, and the space inside. I can remember exactly where the milk was kept, and how it tasted...

Intertwined with memories of the fridge are memories of Grandma. Of watching her cook, of helping her cook. I remember offering her a drink of milk, knowing she'd turn me down, because she could not drink milk. It was one of our private jokes.

See, when she was a little girl, Grandma and a friend ate a bunch of peach pits. They took the pits, broke them open and ate the seed. Peach pits are poisonous. Deadly. Upon discovery, the girls were separated and each was purged. Grandma said her parents heated milk and made her drink glass after glass after glass until she threw up. She said that she'll never forget the black color of that milk/peach pit mix as it came up. Her parents make her drink and vomit repeatedly until all that came up was white milk.

But, after that, she could not drink milk.

Today, I'd love to go to her house, open that fridge, pour myself a glass of milk, and sit and visit with my Grandma, and offer her a drink of my milk.

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