A Pioneer Christmas

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Western refrigeration options or pioneering plan B!

Literally since 1865 when New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley coined the phrase, “Go West, young man,” heading toward the Pacific and all parts in between has been a desired destination.  But I’m here to tell you despite it being 2023, this life in the West thing still has its challenges.

First there was the “mandated power outage” to check the grid in the wee hours of the morning.  One would think that would not adversely affect a body since you should be sound asleep between 1 and 4 am.  And I seriously thought that was a California thing.  I had no idea Colorado had bought into the concept.

Now I expected times on clocks to flicker and maybe a breaker or two might need to be flipped.  But, not with this polarizing power play.  This Ebenezer Scrooge-like event took out my entire refrigerator – unbeknownst to me of course for days –  since the temps were hovering in the 30s and 40s on the daily.

By the time I realized the cooling conundrum, most of my freezer items had thawed – including the Christmas turkey, which clearly takes a minute to become unfrozen.  With no repair people in the forecast after assigning Mr. Kaminski to forage and find one, I did what any pioneer woman would do.  I donned boots, hat and scarf, placed all of the contents of my refrigerator in plastic and promptly buried them in God’s cooling creation:  snow.  Mr. Kaminski thought I had lost my mind; I thought I was rather resourceful and creative.  I was a pioneer woman.  After all, I just had just trekked into town, made my list, checked it twice and scavenged for $250 worth of Christmas groceries.  I was not about to allow that monumental feat to become an effort in futility.

I cooked what I could – one of my least favorite activities – and sent Bub to procure ice for the cooler for things I needed close by.  As evening approached, I began to realize a fatal flaw in my ingenious save:  critters.  And it’s winter, so they’re hungry.

Intent on saving our precious provisions, I again summoned my can-do, pioneer attitude and began finding neighbors to house my frozen feast.  I sent Mr. Kaminski to and fro with bags of food in an effort to relocate and salvage.  After all, the relocation effort would only last 24 hours or so, and this frontierswoman was not about to give up.

Mr. Kaminski assures me that a new appliance is coming today.  To date, I’m happy to report a mere 10 percent in causalities in the food arena due to my pioneering efforts.  So, guess what this girl is getting for Christmas this year?  You guessed it – a new refrigerator.

Merry Christmas porch sitters.  I hope you and your families have a blessed Christmas and that all of your appliances work.  Ho, ho hugs!  See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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