No dice on the ice

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Dear Ice Maker,

I’m going to have to give you a new name. Your current one – ice maker – isn’t accurate any more since you don’t make ice and haven’t for two weeks now. From this point on, I’m going to call you Lucille. And in the words of country music legend Kenny Rogers, “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.”

iced-tea-992838_640 croppedThe weather is warming up, and you’ve gone down. As far as I can tell, I gave you no reason to quit on this relationship. It has always been simple between you and me. I press the button on the front of the refrigerator door, and you shoot ice into my cup before I fill it with sweet tea.

So why did you have to complicate things? I’m crushed (but with no crushed ice to show for it).

When I first realized there was a problem, I took your ice bin out of the refrigerator and stared at it, turned it upside down, and poked at a few levers before deciding that none of those actions constitute fixing what’s wrong between us. Clearly, you’ve turned a cold shoulder and won’t show me what’s broken here.

So, I called in an expert – an ice maker therapist, of sorts – but you weren’t talking to him either. He had no choice but to yank you out of there and replace you with an ice maker that looks just like you. I felt bad about seeing you boxed up like that, but what choice did I have? It was 85 degrees that day and climbing. I had high hopes that, by nightfall, I’d be having tea “on the rocks” once again.

But that didn’t happen. The ice bin is still just as barren as it was before the switcheroo. I called the repair guy to tell him his therapy session obviously hadn’t worked, and he said it’s probably because our issues go even deeper than he first feared. He mentioned something about a new control panel, which not only proves you have some serious “control issues,” it also means this therapy is going to cost me a fortune. He said he’d order the new part and call me when it arrives.

In the meantime, I’m sensing that your icy mood is perhaps beginning to thaw. A few nights ago, as I worked late on my laptop, I heard a strange whining sound coming from the kitchen. It was a cross between a mechanical whir and the sound a cat makes when it’s coughing up hairballs. I wondered if it might be the sound of ice maker tears.

Sure enough, the next morning I found three small ice cubes in the bin. Only three. Two days later, I found three more.

ice-3176110_640 (2)Listen, I appreciate the fact that you’re trying. I really do. But three ice cubes every third day isn’t going to cut it. I need more than that. Think of the children. I have to do what’s best for them, and their Gatorade isn’t going to chill itself.

I didn’t want to tell you, but this rift in our relationship makes me want to look at what else might be out there. My neighbor has one of those fancy icemakers, the kind that make small, chewable nuggets of ice that people drive to Sonic just to get. If you can’t give me what I need, I may have to go somewhere else to find it.

That’s not a threat, Lucille. It’s just a fact. I’m hoping you’ll reconsider your stance and rejoin the kitchen as a fully committed partner in drink cooling. The summer is right around the corner, and I need you. We all do.

Yours truly,


Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of

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