Today’s household-maintenance project was an unusual one: cleaning the refrigerator. It had accumulated several months’ worth of drips, crumbs & spills, and was looking pretty bad.

We all pitched in – even Sam, who complained bitterly about having to get up from his Minecraft session. (And just after coming home from shoe-shopping! O the injustice!) The threat of losing his computer for the rest of the day didn’t improve his mood, but did get him moving.

First, we took out all the food, and piled it on the kitchen table. (If we’d had a dozen coolers, and a truckload of ice, we might have used them; alas, we did not. Instead, we tried to finish before things warmed up too much.)

Then we removed all the shelves, drawers, attachments, etc., etc. Only afterward, when the refrigerator was empty – and looking much smaller than usual – did the idea of taking a picture occur to me. If we’d had one, the reloading might have gone more quickly.

Jennifer did all the washing, Jake & Sam did all the drying; I reinstalled all the shelves (more or less where they had been before – though without a picture, who can be sure?).

While all this was going on, the refrigerator beeped its open-door alarm with increasing desperation, then finally gave up. (It even shut off the light, making it hard to see what I was doing.)

Beginning to end, it took perhaps forty-five minutes.