Garage Fridge

by Brittany on March 13, 2013

in Am bitter, House Love, Musings, My youth and current lack of it.

This weekend we put a fridge in our garage. We have a garage fridge.

Exciting, right? Okay just stay with me here, I have a point, let me muddle about to get there a sec.

We put a fridge in our garage… and then I had an emotional breakdown. See? There’s the hook you were waiting for.

So, we’re redoing our kitchen, like, top to bottom. We aren’t finished yet because we’re straight DIYing it, but if I can sum up the process like the opening of The Real World, it’d be like…

This is the true story of a family of five, picked to live in a house like hobos and test the boundaries of their marriage, to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start having real fucking epic meltdowns in the drawer pull aisle of Lowes.

It’s seriously the most ridiculous thing we’ve voluntarily decided to do. We’re painting walls and cabinets and thrifted and vintage furniture and laying new floor. And the thing is, there’s no going backsies. Once you start, you have to finish or else you look like the before photos on Property Brothers.

If Andy had a quarter for every time I was all, can’t we just burn it to the ground and buy a new one? He’d have a zillion quarters, less whatever CoinStar withholds, because who even uses coins anymore?

So, as a byproduct of all this, we’re switching out appliances, and while the stove, dishwasher and mounted microwave will all be picked up and donated, we decided to hang on to the fridge to toss in the garage for extra food storage.

For an entire month, our pillow talk has consisted of things like, oh hey we have to get the garage cleaned out for the fridge, and oh my God I can’t wait to have all that extra storage, and dude, think of how much extra room we’ll have for Trader Joe’s naan!

So last weekend was the big day. It was 50 degrees out, the kids were playing outside, and we tackled all the shit that accumulated over the course of a winter; Christmas decorations that had to go up in the attic, lines of Diet Pepsi cans on shelves that I lazily pull from my car cupholder to replace with a fresh one each morning, bags of clothes to donate, wooden palettes for all those Pinterest crafts I was planning on fucking up.

We put everything away, and finally, finally, glided the fridge into it’s spot.

garage fridge

And then I immediately started sobbing.

What the hell is wrong with you?

We have a fridge, Andy, in our garage.

I know! These are happy tears, right?

No. They’re not happy tears. We’re at the point of our life where we put fridges in our garages now!? What the hell?

We had an extra fridge in our house in college?

Yeah, for like beer and pizza and stuff, not this. Not like this. Do you know what we’re putting in this fridge?

Um, bread? Pop? Juice boxes?

Our youth. We’re putting our youth in this fridge.

We’re at a point in our lives where we’re buying food in bulk and storing it appropriately? It’s responsible and efficient, and the exact thing I remember my parents doing. You know, right before they started wearing drawstring pants and cutting their own hair because it was just easier.

Growing up is hard for me. It sounds like a selfish and ridiculous thing to say, and there are some parts of age that are awesome. I’m more comfortable in my body and braver in my actions at 30 than I ever was at 20. But, when I find myself doing the things I have memories of my mom and dad doing… going to an accountant, getting life insurance, putting fridges in garages… I don’t know, I just get like, super emotional about it.

It’s these moments that make me feel old. It’s these moments that make life seem fleeting. I use eye cream. I filed a tax extension with the appropriate paperwork. I can’t watch anything on MTV without wondering what everyone’s parent think. Wyatt and Jude have girlfriends..twin girlfriends…I can’t even, you guys!?

So I went inside and made lunch and then took a nap with the kids on my bed. When Andy shook me awake, it was dark, and he led me to the garage and opened the fridge.

photo(91)

Christened. Perhaps we’re not too old, after all.

 

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate March 13, 2013 at 10:44 am

Oh, I totally feel you. We have no kids to gauge our age increasing, but every so often one of us will say, “A few years ago…wait, that was college, so it must be at least eight years ago…WHAT? EIGHT YEARS?? …shit.”
And really, yesterday I was sweeping up the incredible amount of shedding puppy fur and told my Rock Star, “I am at that point in my life where I think a Dyson vacuum seems like an amazing way to spend $500.00.”

WTF, self??

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Rachel March 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I purchased my Dyson at the ripe old age of 26… but I’ve always been an old soul.

And if you go to Bed Bath & Beyond with your 20% off coupon, you can use it on your Dyson and save big!

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Larissa March 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

Keep all the good stuff in the garage fridge! Booze, ice cream, candy, pizza… Then it won’t feel so grown up. Growing up completely sucks sometimes. I don’t wanna either – and I’m gonna be 43 this year!!! How am I 43 already? Didn’t I just graduate college and grad school? How is my son 14 already? Budget, what budget? Replace our roof? Say what?! Seriously, I don’t like it one bit.
Also, is it almost “that time of the month”? Weepiness/extra emotional episodes are a key indicator for me.
Hope the garage fridge only holds the good stuff!

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Emily March 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

I also had a breakdown in the drawer isle of a big box hardware store when we re did our kitchen. Imagine a woman in her mid 20′s sitting on the floor surrounded by pulls and knobs furiously adding things up on her phone calculator, pulling at her hair. Why must we buy dozens of these damn things and why do the cute ones have to set us back a thousand dollars! $1,000 for pulls and knobs!

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Jodi March 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

All my fridge in my garage has in it is beer, beer, glorious beer! It’s like a beer fest up in there.

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Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} March 13, 2013 at 11:13 am

Josh and I want a fridge and a deep freeze unit in our garage badly. I’d say this makes us old but we are totally rock ‘n’ roll and artsy so it sort of cancels out. Right? RIGHT?

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Carrie March 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

I just started following your blog recently, and I have to tell you, I love it! This post strikes very close to home for me, as everytime I do or say something one of my parents did, I facepalm a little.

Also, as a fellow near-30 Ohioan, Go Buckeyes!

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Susannah March 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

We, also, have a fridge in our garage. But to keep from feeling like those OLD people, we have simply christened it the “beer fridge”. Oh sure… it also holds gatorade and usually about 10 pounds of butter (home bakery… we don’t like… BATHE in butter or anything) but it also keeps things like vodka and wine quite chilled.

And the freezer? Ice cream and popsicles.

and chicken. LOTS of chicken for some reason…

The alcohol though… it keeps you young. You know… unless you are looking at your liver. Which you should NEVER do.

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Susannah March 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

Oh and? We are redoing our kitchen on our own too. I will most likely end up a corpse with a beautiful kitchen. He damn well better bury me in that kitchen.

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Lovelyn March 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

We just bought a fixer-upper and breakdowns in Lowes are becoming common place for me. They must start training their employees in crisis management.

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Brittany March 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

Seriously, I leave there feeling like I owe them a specialist co-pay.

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Nelly March 13, 2013 at 11:55 am

I totally feel you on this one.

I am 26 and still don’t quite feel grown-up yet.
The other night after dinner, I voluntarily stood up off the sofa, walked to the kitchen and cleaned all the dishes from dinner and made my lunch for the next day!

Woah! Where did that come from? I have always been a weekend dish washer and last minute store bought lunch eater…

Times are a changin’ my friend.

*sigh*

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marcia March 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm

We are in the middle of the same exact thing, and I just keep saying. We can not afford two fridge’s. Because I am 100% positive I read that your electric bill could double from an old fridge in the garage. That and I keep thinking that Publix has the best sheet cakes, and I would some how buy a few to eat every second of the day. (like leave my fork layingin it so i don’t have to dirty a new one each time)

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Brittany March 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

We are also worried about the fridge in the garage, so we are going to see how this month’s bill goes. HOWEVER the part of this that made me giddy was how I too thought about all the large sheet cakes from Sam’s Club that I could now store without worry in the extra fridge.

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Swerds March 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I wish I could have a fridge in our garage! But with North Dakota temps, the fridge would freeze up and die. Instead, we have a pop fridge in our basement just off the family room that is stocked with diet coke & diet 7up and Guinness of various varieties along with Woodchuck, white wine, margarita mix & tequila.

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LouisianaMeredith March 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Been undergoing renovations, with multiple interruptions off & on, for about 8 months….UGH! This is why God invented Vodka, I know it!

I feel exactly the way you do about certain “grown up” tasks–anxiety, crying jags & “When the fuck did I become the grown up???”

You are so spot in in your blog entries…..I feel less alone in these feelings & less silly about them.

Yet again, thank you!

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Tawny March 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

If you keep the fridge in good working order the bill should not go up too much per month. To counteract the increase start unplugging other things you do not use everyday and it should balance out. My parents added a rental unit to their home and now carry two of every major appliance. The electric bill alone is like an extra mortgage payment. They don’t tell you that shit on HGTV.

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Brittany March 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm

WOW! I hadn’t ever even thought of that but I can imagine it’s huge!

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Adria March 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Even though I’m “only” 32, I feel so far past young that young people annoy the shit out of me. I do crotchety old lady things like call the litter hotline. My “thing” that makes me feel old is school uniforms. I very specifically remember as a kid thinking how wrong they were and how I would never be a parent who supported stifling my child’s self-expression in that way. Now I’m all like “PLEASE let my kid go to a school with uniforms so we don’t have to argue every morning about skirt length, midriff exposure, and cleavage.” And my kid is only 5, so I’m worrying in advance. Pretty sure that makes me old too. I think a garage fridge sounds AWESOME. You are not alone. You are my idol.

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Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) March 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

You have a good Wisconsin beer in your fridge. All you need now is a block of cheese and you’ll be an honorary Sconnie. Where we never grow up.

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Mikia March 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

We have two kids, a mortgage, two car payments, life insurance, and jobs with benefits. By all accounts, we are functioning adults and have been for several years. Still, never in my life have I felt more like an adult than when we got our garage fridge. Ironically, we only ended up using it to hold beer and spoiled leftovers. We finally got rid of it when we realized it was a dinosaur/energy hog and, as a result, we were blowing fuses every time I used my flat iron.

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Nuala Reilly March 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

We have an ‘extra’ fridge in our back room. It has beer, but also all the juice in the world (because apparently my kids can’t function without 20 different juices and I needs my orange juice) and leftovers. Because with five kids and two adults and everyone’s weird schedules, we just needed the extra place to put the huge pot of leftover pasta that my 19 yr old will eventually eat at 3am.
Yeah, it makes me feel old sometimes. But then I just dance around in my kitchen in a bathrobe and undies to ‘sexy and I know it’ and I feel really not quite so old.

Okay, that makes me feel old too, but only because the kids roll their eyes at me.

37 isn’t old, right??

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Kristin March 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm

In my mind I’m still 21 : ) and then after a night of still trying to party like a 21 year old….I am reminded ever so quickly how “old” i really am by feeling every single one of my 35 years with the pleas for diaper changes or a bottom that needs to be wiped after going “pooey on the potty” : )
p.s. We have two refrigerators in our garage, one of which is full of beer and booze!

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Jennifer March 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Andy… he gets you.

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Amanda March 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I just have to say this: When we got to the point of adding an extra fridge, also in the garage, I was never so freaking happy in my life! (Okay, the wedding day and births of our kids *maybe* trumped the spare fridge day.) I absolutely *loved* having all that extra space!! We need a good freezer though. I want my house to be like a miniature grocery shop! I also want someone to buy and deliver all the crap that fills these appliances, preferably not moi. :D

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erica March 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I was dying for an extra freezer when we were nursing because I needed more milk bag freezer space. I swear it took the Husband forever to stop asking if he could throw some of this stuff out…umm no.
I feel the oldest (and the youngest) when I take my kids to the doctor. I am all ok diligently listening and taking great notes being an awesome Mom while shaking on the inside and trying not to cry that my baby is sick. Its weird.

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Big Girl March 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I feel old after I have to make a decision about our children. Let the boy play baseball? Hold our daughter back a grade? Allow the 13 year old daughter (!!!!!!) to babysit the younger two?! I make these decisions then immediately go to my room and cry. I look at my friends and I can’t believe how far apart we are in our lives. I am making these huge decisions that will affect my children’s lives, and many of my friends are just now deciding if they should HAVE kids!! Sometimes 32 seems more like 40. But I don’t FEEL either age. Didn’t I *just* graduate from high school?!? Didn’t I *just* get permission to go to the mall with my friends?!

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Missy March 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

We are in our mid-thirties and we became early octogenarians a while back. My husband is constantly down on his back, has cluster headaches, and gets pissed whenever the neighbors (in their late teens and early twenties) throw beer cans in our yard (yeah, I get pissed about this, too). I garden, can veggies and fruit, and am generally a very cynical introvert who would rather stay in and watch The Walking Dead than go to a very calm mid-thirties party with tapas and wine. Oh, and we have a full-on chest freezer – that actually gets filled with food and vegetables from the garden (I KNOW!). The freezer was the straw for my husband’s best friend who couldn’t stop laughing and shaking his head when he saw it in our very small kitchen.

I chalk it up to my twenties being full of general (okay, major) irresponsibility and too many drunken theme parties. I embrace pretty much turning into my grandmother… most of the time.

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Adriane March 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Um, I love this post but seriously, I’m 35 (in 11 days) and I have been wanting a fridge in my garage ever since I moved into this house! I lived in apts and condos before – this is the first house I lived in on my own. And dammit, I want a fridge in there! I want extra food in bulk. I can’t wait! And my husband is on the same page. Too bad we probably couldn’t afford the extra food at the moment, OR the fridge, but I still want one! I say Congrats! ;)

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Anjie B. March 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm

We’ve always had an extra fridge in our garage. Well, ever since we bought a house. So I guess we grew up right when we signed closing docs. Although……we do STILL call our fridge in the garage the “Man Fridge” and even with the extra groceries in the freezer, we still store all of our beer, and manly eats in the fridge. With the exception of the Capri Sun- but Capri Sun works as a mixer if your desperate, right? Maybe I haven’t grown up after all.

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Anjie B. March 13, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I re-read this and I used “your” incorrectly. God, I hate it when I DO that…..please read that “your” as “you’re”, thank you.

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Sarah March 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Dude. We just tried trader joe’s naan and i would TOTALLY fill a fridge with that stuff!!

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Laurie March 13, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I heart my garage fridge. It doesn’t make me feel old just COOOOL cuz I have DRANKS!!!

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OHmommy March 13, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Read this on my phone hours ago and needed to return to it. I can almost hear you out loud (maybe because I met you) and nodded along throughout. Has anyone told you how awesome you are at storytelling? You are! XX

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Cindy March 14, 2013 at 10:01 am

1. I totally hear you on this. Maturing is REALLY hard to do.
2. You have an awesome husband that makes sure you don’t totally grow up because you need to ALWAYS keep some of your youth. I’m 39. I know these things.

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KAN March 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

Our garage fridge died, and we didn’t replace it. The only thing stored in there were beverages. Everything from alcohol to soda. I was so bummed, I miss my garage fridge.

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WendyK March 14, 2013 at 11:10 am

Garage Fridges Rock. I found a REALLY old one at an auction 10 years ago. Avacado green, tiny little freezer compartment inside the door OLD. $25 for the fridge, $5 for a can of fire-engine red latex paint and I had myself a sweet addition to a plain white garage. It’s now a great canvas for random bumper stickers that say things like “Have you hugged a farmer today?” and a metal wall art such as “Friends Welcome. Relatives By Appointment”. Fill that sucker with beer, find an old school boom-box to plunk on top of it, pull the cars out of the garage, grab a set of lawn chairs and watch the kids play in the driveway on a sunny day. Yeah, the fridge probably sucks more elec than all my appliances combined, but days like that are a little slice of heaven :)

P.S. I also added a chest freezer, also painted red, next to the fridge to store all the grown-up bulk food items. It doubles as a sweet table for snackies to go with the beer :)

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Andrea March 14, 2013 at 11:10 am

Wow, you guys had a garage fridge in college? We had a side-by-side whose fridge side sort of kept things a little under room temperature, and a freezer side that didn’t work at all. Our garage fridge was the rubbermaid trash can we stole from the neighbors and used as the keg cooler.
Oh, and the other night I said something to my son about his ‘television program.’ I am nowhere near old enough to be using that term.

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Dawn T March 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm

We married young. I was 20 and he was 21. That was almost 18 years ago! Talk about feeling old. But I think that made us grow up fast. I remember when we moved from our first house to our second house. The thing I was most excited about was that it had a dishwasher! A DISHWASHER!! It was so amazing – and we didn’t even have kids then. I can’t imagine life without one now. All I would do is wash dishes.

We have a fridge in the garage too. The freezer part of it doesn’t actually freeze, so it’s still our beer/wine/alcohol fridge. And at our advanced age, it feels like a little bit of youth left to purr away in our garage.

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Elaine A. March 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Second Fridge Day was an extraordinarily happy day in our house! Although discovering some old potato salad from my Mother’s last visit, that she stashed in there, months ago? Not so happy. I like how Andy decked yours out. Enjoy! ;D

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Beckey March 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm

When I was younger our spare fridge was filled with our dead cow named Babe, in the form of ribs, and steak, and roast. I can try, but I don’t think I could ever be as cool as my parents. Dead cow meat always wins.

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Alison March 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm

My grandparents had a garage fridge that just contained beer. They were very good role models, and always young.

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Sarah Miller March 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I will ignore the awful magnet on the garage fridge to tell you to embrace the new space. We just acquired one of these beauties last summer and now the freezer holds lots of delicious pizza rolls, hot pockets and a crap ton of Iowa Meat my husband was sucked into purchasing one weekend that I wasn’t home for all of 5 minutes. Plus a NEW KITCHEN sounds awesome. Me next please? We aren’t too far!
PS GO BLUE! lol!

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Chris March 15, 2013 at 7:09 am

Ok, sista…let me tell you a couple of things. Your post hit home for a couple of reasons. We are gutting our “new” house and haven’t had a kitchen since July…yeah that was 7 months ago. I live in Indiana…so as you know from living nearby, it is cold as heck when you have to go out into the garage to get into the fridge, just to have a drink of water. (Finally got appliances delivered last weekend, but still not using them). It makes me sick to watch HGTV and all those people are crying and whining, ’cause it’s been two weeks and their kitchen will never get done and they can’t handle it. Pulleeeezzz.
We will be keeping our old fridge out in the garage just for extra storage. Think of it this way, you can go get ice cream and hide it out there and no one will know. Andy will think you’ve taken up mechanics or something when you constantly sneak off to the garage…or maybe he’ll think you’re having an affair with his power drill…
I would say that the extra fridge would be great for entertaining and you need the extra space, but yeah, that sounds old. Guess I’ve beat you to that place in life, but eventually you will find peace there…maybe.

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Lisa Newlin March 15, 2013 at 10:37 am

I feel your pain! The first time I said “You know, all these kids today are popping pills and hyped up on Vicodin,” I knew I was officially old. But I have embraced it, and it really isn’t that bad. Having a AAA discount really does rock.

Plus, you can do totally irresponsible things every now and then and no one will suspect you because you’re “just not that type.” For reals. Tee-peeing the yard of the neighbor you can’t stand is a free pass for all the times you’ve clipped coupons or turned off “that junk that’s on MTV.”

Embrace it and have some fun…when no one is watching, of course! :-)

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Terrye March 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

A garage fridge showed up in my garage one day. When I opened it up, it was stalked with Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, halibut, and grapes. Turns out my brother had moved in.

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jolisa March 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm

totally came across your website by accident today ! one word…LOVE! my ass was laughing so loud in the office on how honest and true your posts are..totally looking forward to more posts!

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meleah rebeccah March 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Ah yes. Growing up does suck. But its also kind of awesome. And I love that Andy christened your garage fridge with beer. Perfect!

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Charisse March 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I GET THIS!!!! I have a second fridge – in the basement – next to the washing machine. I make sure we keep it stocked with drinks and popsicles – oh and the food that I bought in bulk and am now storing for the apparent upcoming zombie apocalypse….or Depression…whichever comes first.

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J Gillman April 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Be warned about garage fridges, if you live in a cold climate: the stuff in the freezer may melt. In most fridges, there’s no temp detector in the freezer, it’s just set to be x percentage colder than the fridge. In cold weather, the fridge part may not need to come on much or at all, allowing the freezer to also wander into the above-freezing range.

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Heather April 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I remember too much of my younger years too clearly to have this life I’m in make much sense. There’s so much more I’ve forgotten, but there the rest sits, in little fridges in my brain. It makes my heart feel all weird, opening those.

I get it.

H

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