Tuesday, May 17

Now We're Cooking With Gas - AKA -The Curse of the Easter Bunny

My wife and I are cursed. Expensive things seem to happen to us on Easter Sunday. Usually they're things that we'd considered doing at some point when we had the money, but the Curse seems to be of a precipitatory nature that causes us to, uh, accelerate our timing on said expensive activity.

One year, we'd gone to Fred Meyer on that fateful spring Sunday to do some shopping. We're backing out of a parking place when BANG! a SUV decides to back into us and turn our little econo-box sedan into a hatchback. Gotta love those behemoths that are so tall that their bumper completely misses the bumper of a normal car completely. Totaled my poor econo-box. Yeah, a 5mph collision totaled it. So we ended up buying a new car. Thanks, Mr. Evil Easter Bunny!

Another Easter Sunday, we were walking up the street after buying some flowers. We saw someone pounding a "For Sale" sign into the front yard of a cute little house. A and I look at each other and say, "I bet we could buy that house" and poof a week later we're umpreen thousand dollars in debt and moving into our first house. The Curse of the Spring Leporidae strikes again!

This Easter, we swore not to leave the house. We can't afford to! So A offers to make muffins and tea for a leisurely breakfast. She turns on the oven and starts mixing up the batter. BANG! The element in the oven fails. Rather spectacularly, at that. We just sorta looked at each other. The Curse has struck again. Unwilling to venture forth and tempt the Curse any more, we decided to not go stove shopping.

We've wanted a gas stove since we've lived in this house. We have gas service, but for some reason the stove that was there when we bought the house is electric. It's old and tiny (apartment-sized) but it gets hot and we were too broke to buy new appliances anyway. So we were more than happy to count our blessings and be happy with the stove we had. Off and on we look at what it would cost to buy a new stove, goggle at the prices and go back to being happy the stove we have still gets warm. Then one burner failed in a rather spectacular shower of sparks (that also incidentally melted the switch that controlled it and blew half the breakers in the house). Being a very old stove, parts are not readily available, so we lived with three burners for a while. Then one of the other burners started working only on certain settings. Then the third burner started getting flaky. Then the Curse struck and killed the oven. So we were stuck with a stove that had one fully-functional burner and a broiler.

Enough. We need a new stove. Now.

But we can't afford the stove we want. A, rightly so, is adamant about buying the right item, not just the one available right now, even though the right now may be the best we can afford. Then A has an epiphany. "What about Craigslist?" says she. "Hmm ... that's an idea," says me. A week's worth of sifting through the posts we found a beautiful 1940's vintage O'Keefe & Merritt gas stove for sale on Craigslist a mere 12 blocks from the house. OK, so it's 15 years newer than the house, but 1926 stoves are likely as not to be wood, not gas. Sorry, not going that authentic!

A borrowed pickup, a few miscommunications, a trip to the hardware store, and no singed hair later, we now have a REAL STOVE in the kitchen!

A is tickled, as am I.

Now I just need to figure out how to shut off the gas to the pilot lights so we don't have to leave them lit.

Ahh, Craigslist is a beautiful thing.


  1. I was about to say the house wasn't a curse, but then I remembered all the drama involved in the move.

    So, instead I shall say CONGRATULATIONS and at least it's not a piano. :)

  2. And it doesn't have a deathwish! ;-)

    That aside, it can't be the house, since the car came before the house. It might, however, be the Hawthorne Fred Meyer ...

  3. Are ya gonna post a pic of said stove?

  4. How much was the gas hookup? Did you have to run an extra line? I'd love to get gas too.

  5. Long story there .... it's actually a propane stove right now. I need to re-jet it and change out the regulator. Fortunately, we already have gas in the house piped to within 10' of the kitchen. It'll be trivial to get it hooked up, but the stove is old enough not to have a flame sensor/safety valve. I'm betting I'm going to have to install one before the inspector will sign off on it.

  6. "that also incidentally melted the switch that controlled it and blew half the breakers in the house..."

    Grigorowski... if the rats don't eat all the Spätmittelalter electrical wiring in your bungalow soon, you may be writing weekly installments to this story.

    Your new gas stove is foodie-fantastic! I am very envious and I apologize for any hint of future Schadenfreude.