Jordan and I recently went on a ten day vacation to New York City and to Washington DC. We had the best time and experienced so much! It was wonderful to have some time away together and even better, we rented a huge house with a group of my friends from college, and all had a long weekend together. It was just what we needed! It was restoring to be with people we care for so much and who know me so deeply. It was wonderful to get away, see and do and eat new things, and take a break from our everyday lives. We weren't ready to return when we did, and the day we came back, we realized we had made one very stupid mistake.
Before leaving for vacation we worked to get Lil Blue ready. Along with packing and preparing for our trip, we cleaned the house, took out the compost, stocked our freezer with some grass-fed meat from the farm (so we'd have food when we returned), sealed our composting toilet, and made sure things were tidy, empty, and that nothing would smell when we got back. One last thing we did as we were on our way out was unplug the house from our electric source. We thought we were being so smart and frugal--now we wouldn't have to pay for electricity for a third of the month! We thought it all through--checked the weather to make sure it wouldn't be too cold without our heat on, went through the checklist of all that needs electricity in the house...we were fine. It seemed smart and like a great solution.
It wasn't until TEN DAYS later, when we had just gotten back to Iowa and were picking up our groceries on our way home, that Jordan turned to me with wide eyes. And all he said was "the refrigerator!!!" We never even considered it before! It didn't even cross our minds! Here we thought we were such smarties but we had left our refrigerator and freezer, full of good meat, without electricity for a week and a half! We felt sick to our stomachs. We weren't sure what the house would be like when we got there. Would it smell horribly? Would flies and other bugs be swarming? Would water be all over our floor or damage be done from everything thawing?
We gingerly stepped inside the house....the smell wasn't bad, nothing seemed strange or damaged or out of place. No flies and bugs. We crept to the refrigerator and Jordan hesitantly opened the door. There it was! The stink. Everything was ruined. I dumped baking soda into a bowl and threw it in the fridge as fast as I could to start sopping up the smell. Jordan opened the freezer and we saw a pool of red liquid. We were disgusted at the thought of all this blood from the meat that we would have to clean up. Thankfully, we realized that our bag of frozen strawberries had tipped over and spilled. It was just strawberry juice, not blood. Well--blood was probably mixed into it. We had to throw everything away. Everything! It was mildly devastating. It wouldn't have mattered so much if we hadn't stocked it preemptively just before vacation.
Jordan thankfully worked to clean it out while I got dinner started. We needed more groceries and to take out the garbage right away. Suffice it to say, our fridge looks like it's brand new now! But, let this be a lesson to other tiny house dwellers--don't unplug from your electricity source, unless your refrigerator is totally empty!