We had a slight crisis in the Strickland household earlier this week — my oven died.
Now to some this may not seem like a huge inconvenience. I have friends who have never cooked a day in their life and order take-out or pizza for every meal — but I cook. Every day.
The loss of my oven was akin to losing a pet. I grieved. But the grief was short lived and quickly followed by anger — because it was only 5-years-old.
Taken too soon …
My husband was lamenting the cost of replacing yet another large appliance in the house when I had a novel idea: Maybe it could be fixed?
We live in such a disposable society nowadays that I’m ashamed the idea of repair wasn’t my first thought. No, it was my second.
It was only after being faced with the (unpleasant) notion of dipping into the savings account that it even occurred to me.
After asking around for a while, I finally tracked down the number of a local guy who did large appliance repair.
Let me tell you, these guys are a dying breed.
Long gone are the days of the “Maytag Repair Man” making house calls and to be honest, I was worried he would charge more than the cost of replacing the unit.
As it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised.
He pulled out the stove (is it a stove, range or an oven?) and was back there about 30 seconds before he uttered the cliche line “Well, there’s your problem right there.”
Apparently, the cord going from the stove/range/oven had gone bad and in the process had managed to short out the 220 volt box it was wired to.
Thirty minutes later, it was fixed.
Just like that.
So while he was there I had him take a look at my dryer as well …
It concerns me just how close I came to going out and buying a new oven — especially since a new one wouldn’t have worked anyway as the outlet was fried and needed to be re-wired.
When I was a kid, I remember repair guys coming to the house to fix the television — but stuff like that just doesn’t really happen anymore.
Remember Sally Struthers advertising the programs for TV/VCR repair? Ha!
When your vacuum dies, you buy a new one. Cell phone screen cracks? Buy a new one. TV, microwave, toaster — whatever — no one has anything fixed anymore. We replace it.
When my father was down here visiting recently he told me how a burner had gone out on his (ancient) stove top. It was the kind that had to be wired in — not plugged — and I asked him why he didn’t upgrade to a model from this century.
“Why?” he asked. “This one works just fine. I fixed it.”
Turns out he had once seen his grandfather re-wire a stove when he was a kid so he “kinda remembered” how to do it — and he did it.
I rolled my eyes at the time but now I think he’s got the right idea.
If something is of quality, it deserves to be repaired — not trashed.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.