Though scores of us like to fuss about this protracted winter, personally it has been marvelous for chipping away at those jobs I ignore once the garden is calling my name. 

Many personal friends have become snowbirds, so I had plenty of time to peer around the old homestead. What I saw was a backlog of unpalatable puzzlements. Not one would vanish on its own.

Most glaringly, my refrigerator door handle had been broken since November 15. Perhaps I took perverse pleasure in applying duct tape to this fancy appliance, more fodder for our grown kids’ storehouse of tales about how their parents are maybe starting to lose it, and why can’t they just get stuff done?

Now that our daughter and her husband have a baby, they are starting to understand the answer to that question. Nothing’s as easy as it looks. 

The first appliance repairman could not figure out how the handle could be removed from the door. Another couple of fellows tried, but their solution was to completely disconnect the door from the fridge and take it apart. I demurred on the grounds that they may not succeed in reassembling it, in which case I would be in a whole different fix. 

I couldn’t order a handle until someone figured how to remove the broken part. The manufacturer couldn’t help, since the appliance had an aftermarket cabinet facing. I laughed that this broken handle might prompt me to completely upgrade my kitchen, which of course would lead to redecorating the first floor.

Instead, I called the guy who gutted my kitchen in 2001. He had one word for all the men who tried before him and failed: Amateurs. 

Cold April brought me a new fridge handle, plus more household purging than I ever thought possible. If we cycle into the hottest summer on record, this place should be in tip top shape before the first leaf falls. (c)