As we awaited freezing temperatures this week, we wrapped our new and tender citrus trees. Both had been planted after last year’s freeze. The only other thing to do was to prepare for the possibility of a prolonged power outage. If you subscribe to the Texas power grid, all you can do is pray.
I did not do that, preferring to allow God to apply his considerable band width to the Russia-Ukraine business, global climate issues, and the Olympic athletes hurling themselves down mountains at 90 m.p.h.
Having done all the preparation we could, enter that bitterest of gremlins, irony.
We never lost power but the compressor in our refrigerator failed. Thus we had one of the greatest inconveniences of a power outage without a power outage. Fortunately, with freezing temperatures, we could pack a few days’ supply of our frozen foods and other cold foods into styrofoam boxes and leave them in the icy garage. And, for everything else, we borrowed freezer space from some of our very best friends.
Hidden Treasure No. 1. Champagne’s Appliances is Hidden Treasure No. 1. They sent a technician to our house after hours at the end of a long day. The needed compressor and inverter was not available in his shop so he arranged for a loaner Frigidaire. It was in our garage by 10 a.m. the next day. Leveled, plugged in and purring like a kitten, we moved our cold foods into a functioning refrigerator.
That has been our experience with Champagne Appliance for the almost 40 years we have been in Lake Jackson, even as it moved through new ownership from Jack Reid through John Champagne. They know that there are many ways to beat the prices in today’s electronically connected world of e-tailing. But for the essential appliances of the modern household, the dependable personal service is invaluable.
Hidden Treasure No. 2. But there was another hidden treasure located next door. I discovered it when we left Champagne’s. It is an antique shop called Junque Rescuers. It is located at 34 Circle Way Street, next door to Champagne Appliances.
I have been in a lot of antique stores. I have even spent a few spring days, most often willingly, at the Round Top and Warrenton shows, offering some of the best antique rummaging and shopping in Texas. But I have not been in one that topped Junque Rescuers for the combination of good things that a person could actually want to own and at prices a person would willingly pay.
For a mere $9.00 I walked out with a handsome red oak walking stick with a heavy brass knob handle. As someone who has used this form of transportation since 2005, I simply had to have it. And, making it even sweeter, it carries the brand name Bubba Stik carved into the handle. Now we are talking street cred.
Gentlemen of my age, although we may never speak of it, always evaluate a walking stick for its usefulness as a weapon should the need ever arise. I have a brother-in-law who has made a specialty of medieval individual combat methods as part of his decades long RenFest obsession. He taught me a few moves at a family reunion once soon after I had begun traveling by walking cane.
Don’t mess with me. I was a danger to the menacing street criminals with my lightweight walking cane. This dense red oak beast with the heavy metal knob would inflict real damage on anyone who thinks it might be easy to take the old man down.
It’s the perfect walking stick and friend for the aging pacifist who may be taken as an easy target on the street. I know how to make a swift move to ram it into an attacker’s rib cage and whack him over the head in two speedy moves. But I wouldn’t do that unless someone asked for it. That’s the pacifist in me.
Just $9.00 and no permit or constitutional protection required.