It was supposed to be only partly cloudy today, but most of the day turned out to be totally overcast. The mockingbird came to the yard and sang for a while this afternoon anyway, diminishing the gloomy atmosphere. The walk to Grocery Outlet was not delightful, but at least I got greetings from the six dogs who live in yards backing up to the street I walk along, all of them barking great disapproval of my presence in that part of their territory which lies inaccessible to them, being beyond their fences. That stretch of street is moderately busy with pedestrians and bicyclists, so the poor beasts must be barking their heads off frequently all day long. I consider them a welcome diversion in what is otherwise a dull and unpleasant bit of street, and always greet them cheerfully. That pisses them off so much.
This evening my mind began wandering, and I fell into a rabbit hole of nostalgia, remembering stuff from very early in my life. There's nothing I can manage to organize into any coherent bit of writing, but there are lots of stray images, like the time when I was perhaps four or five and we went to see the appliances on display at the gas company's offices (Southern California Gas Company used to have ongoing appliance displays in showrooms in their local office buildings) and the guy on duty— not a salesman, as they didn't sell appliances, they just showed them and referred anyone interested to a regular dealer— gave me an ice cube out of the freezer of a Servel gas refrigerator. My own ice cube! I thought that was about the greatest thing that had ever happened to me.
We later bought a Servel, and survived with it in the house for well over a decade, even though they had been known to kill quite a few people with carbon monoxide when the gas was incompletely burned. They also featured an ammonia-based coolant, which if it escaped could also be fatal or cause serious injury. After we moved to a house without a gas outlet for a refrigerator, my parents gave it to friends who kept it in their garage to store their beer, and it ran there for at least another decade, never killing anyone. After that it might have ended up in Mexico, where gas refrigerators, fired from a propane tank, were long in demand in areas without electricity. Sometimes, when I hear an electric refrigerator start running, I remember that Servel, which operated quite efficiently but always in complete silence.
Gee, I've had such an interesting life, despite it being so mundane. How did that happen?