(This one is back by popular demand. Last week a group of Dallas friends gathered in Cabin 244 at Bloys Camp Meeting to, once again, gaze in awe upon Old Faithful. Dedicated to those who keep running even when times are tough.)
I don’t know how old it is, but I am guessing at least sixty-five years. Maybe eighty-five. It is about five feet tall, and it has a little freezer compartment inside that is just large enough to hold a couple of old-fashioned ice trays. I looked for a date of manufacture on the old General Electric refrigerator, but only found what I assume to be a short serial number of some kind.
The little cabin in the Davis Mountains where I stay each year is not really “roughing” it. There is no air conditioning (no problem: it was 59 degrees this morning and I was covered in blankets), and no screens on the open windows. But there is indoor plumbing, electricity, and this old, vintage refrigerator. Every year when I open up the cabin and plug it in, I am amazed. It immediately starts humming and is pretty cold within fifteen minutes. It came with the cabin when I bought it about ten years ago. I call it Old Faithful.
We just bought a new refrigerator for our home in Plano. It cost in excess of $2,000, and it has all sorts of computerized features. There is a digital display on the door, and it will spit out your choice of cubed or crushed ice. It is larger than most closets, and I suspect you could store enough food to last six months for a family of four. It is three months old, and we’ve only had the repairman out once. I bought a five-year warranty plan because I expect the repairman to become practically a member of the family. I won’t tell you what I call it, but I doubt that it has a life expectancy of more than ten years.
I’m the first to admit that Old Faithful wouldn’t work in our kitchen. When I brought up the idea with Bobby Ann she explained to me in brief but descriptive language what would happen to me if I brought it home. Nevertheless, in a day when we build expensive stuff that is designed to be quickly thrown away, I am grateful for the fact that there are some things that last, including special relationships and the ongoing community of the church.
This might be a good time to take inventory of all the “Old Faithfuls” in your life. They are rarer and more important than you might think, and I recommend offering a special prayer of thanks to God.
Rev. Don Underwood