Friday, July 17, 2015

Wherein I lived in a refrigerator box as a child

One of the series of stories I enjoyed telling the kids was a set of tall tales about my youth. It involved violent incongruities to help exercise their imagination.  Feel free to adapt this story by substituting names from your own family.

When I was very young, my family was quite poor, and for a while, we lived in a refrigerator box.  It was from a fairly large refrigerator, so it wasn't so bad.  It was kind of like living in the forts you guys make.

My room was upstairs to the right, and your uncle Tony's room was to the left.  Our rooms were small, of course, being in a refrigerator box.  There was only room for a bed, a small desk, and a chair.

On Sundays, we had a family dinner.  Since we were very poor, it was usually something like Ramen or macaroni and cheese.  Uncle Tony and I each had responsibilities to prepare for dinner. 

Tony's job was to go to the china cabinet and get out all of the china and stemware for dinner.  He'd put a dinner plate, a salad plate, and a soup bowl at each place, then put the crystal glasses out.

My job was to get out the silver and polish it before we ate.  Of course, we had a salad fork, dinner fork, dessert fork, a knife, and a soup spoon, so it was lots of polishing.

The soup was vichyssoise - that's a fancy, cold potato soup.  We were too poor for hot soup.  The salad was dandelion greens, wild onions, and nasturtium petals.  The nasturtium petals made it taste kind of peppery.

After dinner, we had to clear the table and carry all of that down the long hall, past the billiard room to the kitchen.  We were too poor to have the kitchen next to the dining room.  We had all those other rooms in the way.

Did I mention that the refrigerator box was bigger on the inside than on the outside?

Anyway, after supper, we had to wash the dishes and put the china and stemware and silver away.  It was hard being that poor.

Next time, I'll tell you about one of Grandpa Dave's really neat inventions that people around the world use every day.

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