There are typically two times of the year when things break: the beginning of cottage season and the end of cottage season. Neither of these times is more preferable to the other. When we arrive in the spring, it’s pretty much a given that some things that were perfectly fine at close-up have decided not to work. Even though when the season has just begun and there’s ample time to fix what’s gone wrong over the winter, inconveniences like having no hot water (especially since I brought it on myself) are very annoying. The water heater did get fixed and we then sailed through the summer without any serious infrastructure incidents. Until Labour Day weekend.
As soon as the calendar turned its page to September, the stove transformed itself into a blast furnace, incinerating anything in its cavity. I gave it the benefit of the doubt when it charred the parchment paper the charred eggplant was siting on because the eggplant was supposed to get charred. But when the kitchen filled with smoke two minutes into toasting bread for crostini, it was clear the stove itself was toast.
In its own defense, it’s twelve years old and that’s 100 in appliance years these days. Also, when it was sparkling new and rodents were still able to use the cottage as their winter holiday spot, a few of them moved into the stovetop insulation. This did not end well for either the stove or the mice. If you’ve ever wondered what baked mice smell like, I’d be happy to tell you.
From then on, the drawer that’s meant to hold sheet pans became a place to put mouse poison. All of this to say the stove was not exactly an outstanding kitchen citizen and even though it could perhaps have been repaired, it was carted to the dump and a new stove was installed just in time for the Friendsgiving festivities next weekend.
The new stove is almost identical to the old one except for some things that Maytag thought needed improvement. The clock display is now bright orange instead of a calm blue. It kind of clashes with the microwave and the coffee maker, but it functions nicely as a night light when the cat wants breakfast at four in the morning. I guess blue numbers were so last decade. Also, instead of beeping, the timer now sounds like a European police car. I don’t know why. On the plus side, it certainly does get my attention so there is no danger of burning the pumpkin pie.
I was off the island for two whole weeks in September and I thought the water would be far too cold by now, but I am pleased to report it is perfectly swimmable in the “it’s nice once you’re in” sense and if the weather holds it will continue to be swimmable for several more days. Of course the season wind-down has begun, though. I took down the dock flag, which had devolved into a horizontal hula skirt. This is because we tried to get two years out of it by trimming off the frayed edge. The prevailing northwest wind laughed heartily at that notion.
The freezer is still way too full and the turkey leftovers will make that worse. The homeward march of the condiments will start soon and the city fridge will wonder why it’s necessary to have so many bottles of mustard. And I will wonder what the heck I was planning to do with three (!) unopened jars of pesto. If you have any idea, please let me know.