Tuesday, January 31
Valley Palms RV Supplies and Service, Blythe, California
Chuck rolls out my new Dometic refrigerator!
Chuck takes out his tape measure and holds it across the door opening. Twenty inches.
In order to position the new fridge in the molded fiberglass compartment inside the Best Little Trailer, it must go through that 20-inch door and around a corner in the narrow aisle.
Chuck stretches the tape measure across the refrigerator. Twenty inches.
Plus the refrigerator has all sorts of “stuff” that sticks out its back side.
Chuck says, “We might have to put it through the window.”
The back window option is considered and discarded. I really don’t want that window removed because — you know how it goes — it would never be as tight a seal again.
An alternative option is suggested.
Remove the door and the “guts” from the back of the refrigerator, leaving only the refrigerator box. It will be a tight fit but we all agree it’s the best we’ve got.
Jared begins removing the old refrigerator stuff while Chuck tends to customers at the store.
Meanwhile . . .
Reggie participates in a few dramas with the resident felines. These cats stroll in and out of the Valley Palms RV store like they own the place.
A customer opens the door and a rather large, shaggy, grey angora steps out. This cat has major swagger going on. Naive to the way of felines, Reggie employs his usual let’s-be-friends tactic of running around acting silly.
“Hey! Ya’ wanna’ play with me? Do ya’? Do ya’?”
Big Bad Tom doesn’t hesitate. He stops dead and immediately lets rip a loud snarl overlaid with a high-pitched screech.
Translation: “BACK OF, squirt, or you’re dead meat. I’m not in the mood for any of your cute, canine crap!”
Reggie stands frozen next to me. Above us the palm fronds shiver.
With a final tail-flick, Big Bad Tom strolls around the corner of the building to the dirt lane that loops through the campground at the rear of Valley Palms. Before disappearing around the bend, he pauses, turns his head — you know how cats always have to have the last word — and shoots a laser-beam stare at Reggie.
Satisfied he’s made his point perfectly clear, he stalks off to play a few games of death-and-dismemberment hockey with the local field mice.
Reggie looks up at me. I look down at Reggie.
“Geez! That is one tough kitty, Reg. You don’t wanna’ mess with that dude.”
Turning our attention to the refrigerator situation . . . .
The job is tedious and time-consuming. Most of the time I stay out of the way as the men work. Jared does chat a little bit. After a while I learn that his wife is pregnant with their second child and he’s supposed to drive her to a doctor’s appointment at four o’clock.
Oh dear, this job won’t be done when it’s time for him to leave . . . .
While the work continues, here’s what happens with the second cat.
I see him first, a black cat sunning on the concrete slab in front of the store. Mellow. Minding his own business. This time I’m ready with my camera.
I wait for Reggie to notice he’s being watched.
There he goes!
He zooms and acts silly, inviting the cat to play.
Gee, the Reggie Man needs to expand his repertoire. . .
Laid-Back Cat doesn’t move, except to thump his tail like a metronome (See photo above.). Soon he’s had enough of Reggie and the sunshine. He finds shade under the palm trees beside a pick-up truck.
Reggie doesn’t give up!
Laid-back Cat observes Reggie for a short while. Then the fur begins to rise.
Reggie’s still dancin’ and prancin’ until Laid-Back reaches his limit of patience and disappears beyond the truck.
Reggie searches for the cat.
“Hellooo! Anybody see a black cat come in here?”
“Give it up, Reggie. Forget about cats. Let’s go for a walk, sweetie.”
The old fridge is ready for removal!
The outside compartments are empty. The bathroom door has been removed to give a little more space for the fridge to be hefted around the corner.
Reg and I wait inside the PTV. I read. Reggie rests in his bed, overtired from the events of this unusual afternoon.
At last, the Moment of Truth arrives. If the old can’t come out the door, the new can’t go in the door!
We turn now to the third cat.
Reg and I return from another walk around the campground. Reggie has a drink.
Oh boy, another cat. This one’s a pretty tricolor.
Again Reggie puts on his performance, this time for the benefit of Calico Kitty. He zooms around so much I have difficulty catching him in a photo.
Calico Kitty is not amused.
She comes out from under the bumper to make her feelings known.
Read the fur, Reggie. Read the fur . . . .
That concludes Reggie’s cat encounters for the day!
~ ~ ~
But what about the refrigerators?
Will the old one come out of the BLT? Will the new one go in? Will Jared’s pregnant wife make it to the doctor in time?
On the outside of the BLT, Chuck eases the old fridge to line up perfectly with the doorway.
On the inside Jared wrestles the fridge through until it breaks free. Jared hangs on, following the momentum as it goes out the door, letting the old fridge topple to the ground.
Jared sits in his truck to take a breather and have something to drink. When his break is over he tells me he called his wife and she agreed to postpone her appointment.
“How nice of her to do that!” I respond.
“Well, she knows how long you’ve waited for your refrigerator and now you’re here, still waiting,” Jared explains cheerfully. “She doesn’t mind. She said she didn’t feel like going to the doctor today anyway.”
“Please tell her thank you for me, Jared.”
The new fridge goes in without a scratch.
The back panel follows.
Before the connections are made and it’s plugged in, I take the next photo. Jared comes out of the BLT and sees what I’m doing.
“I want to remember what it looks like clean,” I joke. “It will never be this pretty again!”
Job One — the refrigerator installation — nears completion. Next is the propane leak and heater repair, plus I want two outside rivets replaced.
This has been a long afternoon.
I make an offer to postpone the other projects until another appointment.
“I don’t mind coming back another time or I’ll stay if you want to keep going. It’s up to you.”
The lengthening shadows remind us of the short time before sunset.
Chuck remarks, “We need to have you home before dark.” I nod my head in agreement.
Reggie and I leave with an appointment to return Friday morning.
Before leaving Blythe, I stop at Smart and Final grocery store.
I come out carrying a rotisserie chicken for supper. A tired and hungry pup awaits.
“Look what I got us, Reg!”
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!
Here are a few of the items readers recently ordered from Amazon:
Convertible Pet Stairs or Ramp
21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
Amazon.com Gift Card in a Birthday Cupcake Tin
Sweet Organic Sunflower Butter w/Monk Fruit (1lbs)
Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse Monocrystalline Solar Suitcase with Charge Controller
Home sweet home. It’s after 5 o’clock when we arrive at our campsite at Midland LTVA.