Goodbye, Old Friend

September 22, 2007

You’ve served us well for near 50 years. You are almost as old as me. For as long as I can remember, you have been there on the ready. The life center of our family began with you as we prepared to gather around the dinner table. First with mom and dad, then with my children, and now with Willi and I. Try as you did, we’re just not going to make it to the next generation together. With two burners and an oven gone, it’s time to retire.

Some might find it silly that I would write an ode to my oven, and that’s all right. They might never have shared the relationship we’ve had over the years. Some of my fondest memories began at your side.

Remember how my mom would don the apron at precisely the right time to have dinner on the table as my dad rolled into the driveway? And can you still hear him whistle those familiar four notes as he walked in the back door and up the stairs? I can.

Remember the countless holiday dinners you roasted to perfection? Not many were built to manage the entire dinner in one fell swoop, but you were.

You’ve seen many a 9 x 12 of mom’s macaroni and cheese, everyone’s favorite comfort food. It’s the one recipe that has made it through all generations, bacon and all. You should be proud to know that Willi’s kids took that cooking lesson home, too. We’ll have to do that one more time before you leave.

I would be remiss not to mention some of the darker moments, like the nights I sat at the table with cold round steak and warm milk? Everyone else moved on, except for the two of us. I bet you would have liked to ship those plates off to the starving kids in China, as much as me.

And I distinctly remember the time you taught my mom not to let the grits come to a rolling boil. Particularly without the lid. I never saw such a mess. Boy was she mad. That was kind of like the time we learned that lima beans soak up A LOT OF WATER. I think we had to throw that dinner out, pot and all.

How about all of those 4-H projects we worked on together? I think we held the record for angel food cakes and date braided yeast rolls. Everyone on the block had one, or maybe two, until we finally got it right.

Not many could boast the run we had together. And so it is with great reluctance that I bid you farewell. We sure cooked up a storm, didn’t we?


11 Responses to “Goodbye, Old Friend”

  1. pjlibrarian Says:

    I wish all things could work as well and have such great memories attached. Unfortunately, your new oven will be from the latest disposable manufacturers that like to keep you coming back for the “newest” things every 5 to 10 years because the other “newest” has broken down again. Best of luck with the replacement. If the old one didn’t take up too much room it might make for a fun and sentimental art/sculpture piece.

  2. mjd Says:

    I remember cooking with an electric stove. When I was young, I remember burning my arm on those coils that seemed to take a long time to cool. Is your replacement going to be an electric stove as well?

  3. coffeypot Says:

    I feel your pain. I grieved over the loss of our microwave of 25 years. It’s hard to leave something so loyal behind. But I also feely your excitement of shopping for a replacement (not that there ever could be one, of course), and the choices each new stove has to offer. Have fun in your greaving.

  4. gawilli Says:

    PJ and Mjd – Believe it or not, the replacement is very similar to this one; GE, double oven with a broiler in each, four elements on the cooktop. We found it online and ordered in the store. There are some subtle differences. The arrangement of the burners on the newer model has them on both sides with an open space in the middle. I don’t really like that. But, the newer model also has a self-cleaning oven. I have never had one, so am looking forward to that. I admittedly don’t do change well, and am delighted that we came pretty darn close to the original.

  5. gawilli Says:

    Coffeypot – We had to give up a fabulous old microwave a few years back. It was HUGE! And it weighed a ton. I have not been able to find another like it at all sizewise. It was a White Westinghouse I believe.

  6. daddy d Says:

    It is good to have the right tools to do the right job. Good luck the the new one. May it do the good work that the old one produced.

  7. Cazzie Says:

    It is not silly to make an ode to the oven, not at all. The kitchen is the place where everything happens. It is the place you provide for the family, they provide for you when you are ill, you find out great things in conversation as you cook, or as you are serving from the cooker, you find out sad things there too in conversation. It is the place where it all happens. The ode is not just to the oven, it is to the happenings in the family.

  8. dilling Says:

    She is a sizeable beauty…it would make me sad to let her go…and I have written an ode to my sink, so I totally get it…totally.

  9. Susan Says:

    How sweet to write an ode to the stove.

    Mine is ready to retire and well…we don’t really share too many fond memories….

  10. Betty Says:

    My stove will never die from overuse. lol. But, I had a car I cried over when I traded it in.

  11. tod Says:

    I get it too. I just did the same thing for my dead cleaning robot. 🙂

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