In 1972, Doug and I moved from a suburb of Frederickton, New Brunswick, Canada, where he worked for the University as a technician in the artificial hands and arms lab, to a country place – 100 acres of pasture and woods north of Stanley and south of the Miramachi River. The settlement was called Maple Grove, although it was just a series of farms, the last ones on the lane unelectrified. Our place had electricity, though, and we decided we needed a freezer for garden preservation and meat.
We bought a 32-cubic-foot Gibson deep freeze for $250. (The land, substanard house and two barns – one falling down – cost $4,000 cash.) We have moved that freezer at least five times, including a winter stint unplugged in a South Dakota friend’s granery. For 41 years, it has chugged along faithfully keeping contents at 10 below zero. This summer, I froze 30 meals of green and yellow beans when they were at their peak. Last month, I open the freezer to pop in the packages of processed broccoli. The thermometer read 60 degrees and the beans smelled like compost. All lost. Lucky for us, our winter meat supply is in a newer freezer in the cellar.
We went to Sears in Belmidji and took advantage of their Labor Day sale and bought a new 25-cubic-foot freezer. We also had a garage fridge that needed to be held shut with bungee cords. We decided to replace that, too. So, Sears delivery/installation guys John and Steven arrived with the new appliances. The newer old fridge went into the garage and the new fridge replaced it in the kitchen. The old freezer, body rot and all, went to recycle, as did the oldest fridge. The new freezer cost in 2013 U.S. dollars just double what we paid in Canadian bucks 41 years ago.