My Freezer and My Father

November 20, 2020 | My Jottings

Hello friends. I love alliteration and know I take it a little too far sometimes, like in today’s post title. How are you all doing? I hope if you’re in another stay-at-home order, you’re coping, trying to find things to be thankful for, praying, learning to rest in God’s sovereignty. Because as silly and trite as this sounds to some, He is in control. Are we guaranteed pandemic-free lives? Giddy, happy times every day of our time here? Of course not. But we are promised some things that are pretty important, and one of them is if we put our whole trust in Jesus, He will give us rest and peace.

In our state (Minnesota), things are spiking here. Our governor has mandated that all restaurants, bars and fitness centers close for at least four weeks, and all schools are distance learning. No matter what people think about masks, we are wearing masks. Or at least I am. I talked to a wise Christian man who cares for vulnerable people not long ago and asked if he had felt jerked around by all the conflicting information. (“Masks protect. Masks are useless. Look at the science — masks do help. Look at the science — masks do nothing. Mostly only old people are dying. COVID is being listed on death certificates even when someone dies of another primary reason, skewing the data. This news agency is inflaming things, this one has the truth, this one is more neutral and reliable.”) My friend said that yes indeed, he and his wife and family had grappled with wondering who to believe, how to live during this time. And after a lot of prayer and contemplation he said, “If I get this wrong on the easy side, and behave as if this virus isn’t as dangerous as most say, and one person in my care contracts it and suffers, or worse, dies, it would be horrible. But if I err on the side that the virus could be worse than we think or are being told, and my family and our people are vigilant and more careful than is comfortable, chances are I will not regret that.”

That made sense to me. So I’m being careful, not going out much unless it’s on a drive or a walk, having my groceries delivered, and watching The Crown, which I love.

Because I have more time on my hands, I’ve been slowly going through my list of things I want to organize during this time. So far, I cleaned out my office closet and organized it, my toy closet (thanks to my granddaughter Margaret who helped me right after I came home from donating Justine, my left kidney), a kitchen hutch, my kitchen baking cupboard, and my under-sink bathroom cabinets.

I have wanted to get my freezer in order and have tried many times, but it never stays that way. It’s full of food, and we end up digging around to find things, and all attempts at keeping it organized have eventually failed. Until I saw a professional home organizer on Instagram – her account is @hellohappyhome. She’s so good! She posted a method of organizing freezer drawers I thought would work for me, and I ordered the containers from The Container Store and waited.

When they arrived, I took everything out of my freezer, and took a picture. You can see the coffee grounds that had spilled out of their bags years ago, and some sad frozen raspberries. That middle divider is part of the freezer and can slide to the left or the right. The little round thing you see in the bottom left corner is a baking soda freezer deodorizer, which I removed.

I cleaned out the coffee and berries. Here’s a picture of one of the multi-purpose bins I bought:

For my size freezer drawer, six of these bendable plastic bins fit. See how promising this looks already? You know you’re getting old when things like this make you so happy you could skip around if you didn’t have a knee replacement.

The next photo is what my freezer drawer looks like now. One of the bins holds frozen vegetables. The one in front of it holds frozen fruit. The one in front of that holds our nuts. We eat a handful of nuts every single day, and since they have so much oil in them that could turn rancid, I’ve always kept them in the freezer.

Another bin holds bread products, mostly Sprouted Grain Ezekiel English Muffins that I love for breakfast sometimes, with a honeycrisp apple. In front of the bread bin is a meat/protein bin. There is some frozen shrimp, chicken and sausage there. The bin in front of that has grass fed ground beef, and my favorite breakfast sausage — chicken and sage sausage made by Applegate.

There is a smaller, shallower drawer above this one, and you can see containers with red lids in the photo below. I have coffee, baking yeast, frozen cauliflower pizza crusts and a few other things there — all nicely organized.

This freezer drawer has stayed organized for weeks now, and I know it always will, because finally, Everything. Has. A. Home. No digging around. No buying something because you didn’t know you already had some, buried in the bottom of the messy pile.

What do you think? How do you organize your freezer? If you’re interested in the bins I used, here’s the link. I used the medium sized.

Here’s an abrupt segue. (Have you ever noticed anyone using that word but spelling it segway? No.) From freezer organization to my father.

The other day after working in my office for hours, I happened upon a site where old high school yearbooks could be viewed online, page by page. It was free to view them, so of course I spent a long time looking through the old Covina High School yearbooks. I grew up in Covina, California, graduated from Covina High School in 1975, and my brothers Larry and Steve graduated in 1960 and 1965.

My father was a well-known basketball coach at my high school, and he taught and coached there from 1947 until he retired from coaching in 1974. A lot of people land on my blog after Googling Doc Sooter. Anyway, we had yearbooks in our house, but not from his earliest years at Covina High, so it was very good for me to sit and scroll through photos I’ve never seen of my dad.

He was 29 years old in this one, taken in 1949, and my brothers were 7 and 2 at the time. Look at those lapels! And that shirt collar.

This might be my favorite below, a headshot taken in 1952 when he was 32 years old. That hair! I see myself in this picture a little — the deep set eyes, the low brows. And I have my father’s ears.

Another picture I’d never seen, taken in the early 1950s before I was born:

I’m grateful that often the passage of time blurs memories a bit. I don’t want them blurred too much, but the way the harsh edges are softened can be a good thing. My dad made some choices that affected our family in ways some never recovered from. But he also worked hard, loved people (especially the underdog), listened well, remembered names and knew how to be a good friend, had a whip-smart mind, was the best grandpa who ever was, and he loved me. Perhaps one of the most remarkable gifts he gave me was loving my company. If I wanted to go with him somewhere, the answer was always yes. If I had questions, he had time. He told me and showed me that he loved me. And wonder of wonders, my dad was the son of a pastor who took me to Sunday School from the time I was three years old, where I heard about the love and power and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Honestly…. that changed everything.

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