One day last summer, my old refrigerator suddenly quit. When the repairman handed me the culprit, a broken heating element, I happily paid $75 to get my refrigerator back. After that, it worked nicely except for hot days.Then, the motor would moan noticeably but there was no cooling at all. The thought of getting a new one did cross my mind, but I never got around to it.
The fridge’s condition got worse in the middle of June this year. “That's it,” I said to myself and headed for the mall. When I was removing the postcards and stickers to prepare the old fridge to be trucked away, a yellowed Christmas card caught my eyes. The message inside read, “Merry Christmas! Hope everybody is fine. See you in New York. Love, Siv.”
Siv Engstrom grew up in Göteberg, Sweden, but had spent many years abroad both in Europe and in the US by the time I met her. She was the happiest person I’d ever known, and she brought out the best in everyone. Siv particularly loved Britain, so much so that she bought a dilapidated English cottage near Cambridge. Restoration had already begun in the summer of 1988. Siv never made it to New York that year. She made it as far as Lockerbie, Scotland.
the motor’s faint hum