On a bad day, when it was hot out, and I got flipped off by a driver (and this never happens to me)...my oven broke.
It's a sad thing, isn't it?
Three of the burners still worked and the oven was fine but I knew it was just a little bit of time before it broke for GOOD.
I've never liked this flat top stove. If you ever are considering one and you also are considering canning, do NOT buy a flat top stove. This one had actually cracked a long time ago when I canned on it and I knew eventually it would break for good...but I did not think it would break this badly.
I became the ultimate hunter on craigslist. Karen from Stairstep Boys would have been so proud of me.
I came across some awesome retro stoves that I mighta drooled over a bit but knew would never work, found a few crazy people (one guy wanted me to meet him at an abandoned house to get the stove...uh, no). By the time I came across "Stove, $50" my hopes had dwindled significantly.
Finding a raised stove or whatever they are called is harder than you think. And this one had no picture, and I never click on them if they don't have photo. When the woman answered, I'll admit right now, I was rude.
I was tired of dealing with people and a little freaked out by the crazy guy so I drilled this woman on the phone.
And, bless her, she was as sweet as she could be to me and I found myself fully trusting her and thinking "I think she could be one of my best friends."
When the text picture didn't come through to my phone, she apologized profusely and said she would have someone more "tech savvy" than her send it. I knew I liked this woman!
We drove the good long distance to get the stove on a Friday night when both my hubby and I had to work the next day. When I called to say we were on our way, I could hear kids screaming in the background. Her house sounded like mine.
We pulled onto the narrow little road and found her quaint little house. It was kinda easy to find due the kids all in the front yard.
The stove actually looked newer than I had thought it would be. (Hip hip hooray!) AND it was bigger than my stove by a lot (BONUS!) and it was clean even after sitting in her garage. The reason they were selling it? Because she likes a gas stove better....
This woman rocked.
Her husband offered to help load it and my first thought was the guy was retired military or something. He was soft spoken and seemed really laid back, which was nice after our frantic drive over there. My husband got to talking to him (as my husband does with any and everyone) and he mentioned he was between jobs. I felt bad they were just selling the stove for fifty dollars, they probably really needed the money and six kids means that fifty dollars doesn't even buy pizza out for them!
The woman offered me a seat on her deck chair and we idly talked while the kids played baseball in the front yard. Her teenage daughter and I exchanged tips on our love of coffee and my heart melted a bit at the little toddling girl in the play-school car.
This was by far one of the nicest families I was happy to have met.
Craigslist rocks after all.
As we drove away, S1 handed me up some baseball cards. "Where did you get these?" I asked, a little panicked one of the boys forgot to give them back while we were there. I was already forming my embarrassing apology when my husband said "Didn't you hear? He gave them to us!"
"Really? That was nice...."
"Look!" My husband said, "He played professionally. These are HIM on the baseball cards."
I looked closer and could totally see that guy I though was x-military on the baseball card.
His name hadn't meant a thing to us, we knew nothing of his career...but we had just met Chad Curtis. (Look him up on google, it' a great read.)
And his wife sold me the best stove I do believe I have ever owned.
(Please note, that's not my coffee pot. It's the campers. It just happens to be there in the picture. I'm a tea kettle and french press sort of gal. And yes, I suppose my fridge and bulletin board really is that cluttered....I'd never noticed that before. But, hey, this is real life here.)
Funny how God takes a moment you think "Ug! God, do you see us down here? Do you know I can't take much more this week?"
And then He says, "Well, look here, daughter of mine, I'll give you a BETTER stove than you dreamed you would get and let you meet some great people just because I can."
I love how God works like that....