I woke this morning to find that my refrigerator is broken.
I suspect it's doing an okay job at cooling off my kitchen floor, but that's not really what I'm after.
The door doesn't seal any more and is hanging crooked and low on account of a broken hinge or something.
So it hangs there secretly open almost an inch, injured under the weight of too much kraut in the door. Or maybe all the hard cider. I'm not sure which.
Regardless, it has issues.
And I didn't know.
Twice this morning I tried to make my tea, the ritual that anchors my day.
Black tea. Cardamon. Ginger. Cayenne. Honey.
I reached to the back of the fridge for a new bottle of milk and repeated my rutual once more. And I wondered what was wrong with my palate since my tea tasted terrible again despite the fresh milk.
It took Sage making his own tea and spitting the first sip into the sink for me to realize we had a problem.
No milk. No tea. No ritual. No anchor.
And then I got grouchy.
As sour as those three gallons of milk that I just picked up on Tuesday.
Because I want my tea, darn it. I need my tea!
Or… do I?
Because goodness. Is this the depth of my troubles and will I let it shape this day?
A bit of sour milk.
Let's be real.
There are far worse things I could let ruin my day. (And far smaller come to think of it.)
So the kettle is on for the third time and I'm switching to herbal tea.
And I'm making ricotta from those three gallons of milk.
And I'm getting over it. And on with it.
Because I have food, despite the milk being off. No one will go hungry here.
I have people to care for. A home to care for. A life.
We're warm and safe and dry.
And we are here, together.
Our needs are met. And life – regardless of that flavor of my milk – is sweet.
And then, just as the kettle came to a boil I remembered this: a gallon of sweet milk. Tucked away in the basement freezer.
And once again it seems that our perspective on reality can change reality.
Originally published in 2013.