My house has been like a revolving door with family coming in and out this summer and having grand kids who will only eat certain foods, my refrigerator was beginning to be overloaded with a little of everything. So yesterday I decided to take what I thought would be about an hour and clean out the refrigerator.
I had a clear strategy in my mind, start from the bottom, remove one drawer or shelf at a time, clean it and put it back so I would know exactly where and how it went back in its place.
So beginning with the bottom drawer, I tried to slide it out, lift up on it, and pull it out. Nope, So I wiggled it around, lifted up on it some more, pulled, and pulled. Nope. It was not coming out. I thought "this is a great beginning."
So I decided that maybe it would be better to start with the drawer above it. It probably needed to come out first anyway. I pulled on it and it slid right out! Now I was getting somewhere. I washed it out and put it to the side and started on the bottom drawer again. It was not coming out! But since I had removed the drawer above, I could now remove the entire shelf that the bottom drawer slid into. So I lifted up on the whole thing, shelf and drawer together and pulled them both out. Okay, that's one way to do it.
So, I washed the bottom shelf and drawer as if it were one piece and started to put it back in the refrigerator. IT DIDN'T FIT! I barely got it past the door, and it wouldn't go through the opening of the refrigerator. I tried sideways, upside down, and every which way, but that shelf and drawer would NOT go back into the refrigerator. Wait a minute, didn't I get it out of there? What comes out has to go back in, right? Nope. It was not going back in that refrigerator.
Okay, if all else fails read the manual. It read something like, "if you have an odor in your refrigerator, the shelves and drawers can be removed for cleaning." REALLY? That's all they can tell me?
By this time I was already about an hour into this chore that I thought was only going to take me an hour, so I decided to clean the rest of the refrigerator and get back to that drawer last. Every shelf, tray, and container in the refrigerator popped right out and back in again.
I was wishing Paul was here to help me because he would have either figured it out by now, or said, "Let's go buy a new fridge."
I decided to put the shelf and drawer above the bottom one in first even though I would have to take it back out to get the bottom one in. But, I thought it may help me figure out the how the bottom drawer worked. First, I put in the shelf. No problem. Then I slid the drawer in. It slid in like butter through a knife. I knew I had to separate the drawer from the shelf because for one thing, it wouldn't even fit in the fridge in one piece. So I took the upper shelf and drawer back out and started on the bottom one.
I kept wiggling the drawer in and out, back and forth for I don't know how long, and then FINALLY the drawer popped off the shelf! HALLELUJAH! I couldn't believe it.
So I took the shelf and put it in the fridge, fairly easily I might add. Whew! And then I grabbed the bottom drawer. Okay, let's see if this thing will fit back in the fridge and back onto the guides of the shelf. Just like butter, it slid right in. WOW! AMAZING! I'm home free. But, wait a minute, now it didn't close. It was way too big! The shelf was short and the drawer was long. WHAT?? I glanced over at the kitchen counter and there sat the little drawer. The bottom drawer. I had picked up the wrong drawer. You have got to be kidding me!
Was this supposed to be a test in patience? If so, I was flunking the test.
Thankfully, the wrong drawer slid right back out of the guides. Now for the real bottom drawer. I wiggled it, twisted it, turned it and seriously considered calling a neighbor, but finally, it slid back in.
I didn't think that drawer would ever fit again. I thought I would have to use my refrigerator without a bottom drawer. I mean, who really needs a meat and cheese drawer anyway? But a couple hours and a lot of frustration later, it all came together.
I started thinking today of the ways my life is like my struggle with that drawer. I have tried really hard to get my life back to the place it once was, back to normal. I feel like I have twisted it and turned it and maneuvered it every which way, but some of the old pieces of my life just don't fit anymore and I'm discovering new pieces (or things about myself) all the time. I'm living a 'new normal'. My grief journey has taken a lot longer than I ever expected, but then again, I thought grief only lasted a year. Things are starting to come together.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."