Once upon a time, there was a woman whose kitchen was the ugliest in the kingdom.
Every day, when she walked by the kitchen, she said to herself, “Oh, I surely wish I had some way to make my kitchen more beautiful.” But she had no money, and so the kitchen stayed just as it was.
And she was sad.
You could hardly blame her, can you, dear reader? Her kitchen was full of things from the 1980’s, and that’s enough to make anyone sad, don’t you think? All that brown, brown, brown cabinetry in the middle of the cottage.
Plus the huge stainless steel fridge that dominated everything that she just had to have when she moved into her cottage, was a constant reminder of how silly she had been, spending money that she should have been saving for the dark times ahead.
It was dark.
It was depressing.
And so the woman was depressed, too.
But this woman wasn’t the type to let a bad kitchen get her down forever. She started to fix the things in the dining room nearby, to make a light space to be in. She covered the rough stone with bright plaster, painted her treasured old door a pretty blue, and found some great chairs to sit in that were comfortable even for long nights of dining and chatting with friends.
And it was better.
One day, she found a lamp. A beautiful old lamp from times of yore. It was hanging in the corner of a junk shop, dusty and unloved for it had fallen out of fashion. But the woman saw the handpainted flowers and thought it was beautiful. So she brought it home with her, and hung it over her dining room table.
At night, when the lamp was on, the flowers would glow with a soft, warm light and reminded her of her favorite flowers, cabbage roses in all shades of pink and butter and apricot.
And it made her very, very happy.
Shored up from this little bit of happiness, glowing from the middle of her cottage, the woman decided (with the help of a great many friends), to tackle her pantry, also near the kitchen. She thought, maybe should could make it looks something like this amazing pantry from One Perfect Room:
The woman and her husband, inspired by the pretty pantry, began to have ideas, great ideas. They realized that they could divide the overly-large-and-not-very-comfortable family room in twain, making room for a laundry and mudroom. The pantry would then be free to store all of their food for the winter. The woman and her husband also decided to move the fridge into the pantry, making the kitchen much more roomy and keeping all the food in one place.
The woman was giddy with delight at these plans, but she was worried about a fridge making her soon-to-be-adorable pantry look, well, just not very adorable. But then she saw this kitchen on Southern Living:
(Because even luddites who live in cottages and read way too much fantasy fiction still go on the Internet. Doesn’t everyone?)
More importantly, she saw the fridge in the picture. Do you see it? It’s that wooden thing in the back corner that looks like an icebox.
So the woman decided that she was going to figure out how her fridge would look like this too. But then she remembered.
Her fridge was the wrong shape. It’s doors were rounded and would be impossible to apply wood to. Or at least, very very hard, and the woman was no carpenter.
If only, she thought. If only she could somehow find a free fridge that was just a plain, simple fridge. Just a plain door and a plain freezer on top (or bottom) that she could turn into an icebox, that was free but was also relatively new and an Energy Star model.
(Because even luddites who live in cottages and read way way too much fantasy fiction like to be kind to the environment.)
And then, something miraculous happened.
The woman was on Facebook, on a group of parents from her local community, and someone was giving away a fridge. Exactly the kind of fridge that she needed. The woman told her story and said she would happily give up her giant hulk of a stainless steel fridge in order to have a small, simple, plain, ordinary fridge that she could turn into an icebox. And the community agreed!
The next day, a kind young woodsman, and his wee wife (who must have been from the faerie folk) came to the woman’s house with a new fridge. The woman had no wagon, so they brought it for her. They brought it to her house. Then, they brought it inside, AND packed up her old fridge, carried it out to their wagon, loaded it in and took it away. And smiled the whole time, and said they were grateful.
As was the woman, too! She was grateful and happy beyond measure, and she gave them four kinds of daylilies and a chunk of a plant of mint because they were new to their cottage and had nothing growing around it.
But in the midst of all this joy, there was one sorrow.
When the kind strong woodsman was backing out of the kitchen with her old stainless steel fridge, she could see that her precious lamp was in the way. So she reached up, folly of follies, and tilted it up and to the side.
But oh, dear reader, the hand-painted glass shade was not attached. Even as the woman reached to try and catch it from falling out of the lamp, it came crashing to the floor, crashing into a million pieces, and the woman watched it breaking like her heart.
She wanted so very much to cry, but she knew her tears would be ungrateful for the incredible feat of the woodsman and his wee wife (who must have been from the faerie folk), so she choked back her tears and smiled instead.
The woman loved her new, free, perfect for the project fridge. But she knew that she would always miss the lamp that, when it glowed, reminded her so much of pink and butter and apricot roses.
Unfortunately, there is no photo of this new, plain, humble, ordinary fridge that the woman loves so much, because she spent so much time unpacking and repacking fridges (and reading way way way too much fantasy fiction), that she didn’t do her dishes.
But trust me, dear reader, it’s perfect.