It was challenging. It was inconvenient. It was frustrating.
It was…a first world problem.
On the evening of May 3, we said goodbye to company and went to heat up some buttered noodles we made for the kids earlier in the night. Hmmm…strange…the microwave isn’t working. And by not working I mean the appliance had absolutely no power circulating through it. After changing outlets, checking the breakers, and resetting the GFIs the microwave still had no life. We ate cold buttered noodles and resolved to call the appliance manufacturer the next day.
We reached the microwave manufacturer rather quickly. Luckily all the appliances in our house are still under warranty. The person we spoke to on the phone provided us with a local company they contract with for repairs. We would soon learn about the labor shortage plaguing our country…
It took a couple days to get a hold of the local repair place. When we finally did, they told us some unfortunate news: It would be four weeks until they would have time to get to our house. Not wanting to wait that long, we called the manufacturer again and they gave us another business to call. But it was the same story when we reached them—nearly a month wait. We again spoke to the manufacturer who gave us yet another business. This time we were given a timeline that was not ideal but at least manageable…two weeks.
By this time it had already been a week without our microwave. We decided not to pursue a replacement microwave and continue our journey without the modern convenience until the repair person could come out. We found this to be easier said than done. You never realize how nice it is to pop in a leftover slice of pizza or make microwavable popcorn until you don’t have the apparatus needed to do so.
But going microwave-less is definitely more challenging when you have small children. Not having the immediate capability to warm Beau’s milk, heat up Sloan’s chicken nuggets, or just melt cheese on crackers for them wasn’t just inconvenient for Sid and I, it seemed unfair to the kids.
Despite the trials and tribulations, we managed. Sid and I spent a lot of time cooking microwavable items over the stove, utilizing our air fryer a lot more, and employing our toaster oven to fill the void. We also resorted to another strategy—just eating items cold.
A countdown was literally on for our appointment with the repair person. I was in Pullman when he arrived on May 26 but I was anxiously waiting a “Hallelujah” text from Sid about the microwave finally being functional again. Instead, I received a call. Unfortunately I couldn’t answer but I knew it was most likely about the microwave. I sent back a text confirming that the necessary work had been completed. Oh, how naïve I was…
A whole month to get the parts necessary to fix the microwave?! At this point I raised the white flag. We needed a loaner microwave to last the next 4+ weeks. Luckily our friend Hailey was more than happy to help. Her parents have a microwave at their lake cabin that they were gracious enough to let us use.
Yesterday—27 full days since our microwave stopped working—Hailey drove over to our house and dropped off something I never thought I would be so happy to see. When I came out of my office for lunch, Sid already had the microwave set up.
If you are ever looking for a unique and challenging Lenten sacrifice, perhaps go without a microwave for the entire 40+ days. You will learn to be more patient in food preparation and more grateful for the cooking technology we have at our disposal.
I will leave you with a humorous antidote. After I emerged for my lunch break and took in the glorious site of our loaner microwave, I had to run an errand. I came home just before I had to get back to work. I went to the refrigerator, grabbed some rice, and ate it—cold. I was so used to a microwave-less kitchen that I totally forgot about the functioning “zapper” to my left. I assure you, my absentmindedness won’t last much longer. Thank you, Hailey, for the microwave! Don’t Blink.