There were four of us sharing the apartment. Three girls. One guy. Because every apartment needs a token male for comic relief. It was a two family, three-story Victorian. Bona fide. Nearly floor to ceiling windows. No screens. Easy to break into by scaling the porches. F’n cold in the winter, hellacious in the summer – especially on the third floor. No fans. No A/C. We had the top two stories on one side. The landlord’s mother lived on the first. The other side was three stories of males, including the landlord. It fit our budget which was barely more than books and beer.
We all had different work and social schedules so we all bought our own groceries. On the rare occasions that we all happened to be home at the same dinner time, we’d make a party out of it. We’d whip up a blender of strawberry daiquiris, pool our food, sometimes grill a couple of chickens. One of the guys next door had a grill on the porch outside our living room window. Since his dog always managed to get into our place and hang out, it seemed only fair for him to let us use his grill. Charcoal, lighter fluid, throw a match and duck – on a covered porch. We lived dangerously, guilty of youth and foolish behavior. And we knew it.
We always managed to find a
reason excuse to break out the blender. Flat tire and no AAA? You need a pitcher of daiquiris. Fireworks on the beach? Fill that thermos cooler with daiquiris. We went through a lot of rum and strawberries that year. Our freezer contained ice cubes, strawberries, and occasionally a pint of ice cream.
Then one day our fridge died. Besides having to eat everything in the fridge, it also meant giving the blender a severe workout to save the strawberries. Our landlord would buy a new fridge, but then he’d also raise our rent $200. A prince. We’d pay for an appliance he got to keep. Rental laws definitely have room for improvement. The guys next door had an extra fridge. Must have been the one they used for food – as science experiments. All of us cleaned it inside and out before using. It was a 1950s Frigidaire. About 5 feet tall. Single door with the meat locker handle. Wire shelves inside. None on the door. Teeny tiny inner compartment that was the freezer which held two ice-cube trays and room for two small bags of strawberries. Freon. Probably some asbestos too. It meant shopping more often and keeping a cooler with bags of ice. But it was rent stabilization.
We forgot, however, to synchronize shopping trips. This resulted in all four of us sometimes buying frozen strawberries on the same day. The blender was stressed. We got buzzed. Made it easier to sleep through the night without any A/C.
These days I have a freezer that not only can hold a small cow, but an ice maker that automatically drops the crescent ice pieces into a large bin. No trays to refill or fight to release the cubes.
We’re having a tropical heat wave to coincide with the onset of hurricane season. I’ve got nearly 5 pounds of fresh strawberries and a big bottle of rum. The blender is tuned up. I have plenty of Parrothead music.
Because it’s five o’clock somewhere.
I don’t need to drive to get to Margaritaville and salt makes me bloat. You can drink whatever you want in Margaritaville.
And strawberries are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. Nutrition is important to me.