So I went to the store and bought some boxed foods that could be kept in a cupboard or freezer and prepared without the use of milk or eggs or indeed any fresh ingredients of any kind. This is what I came up with. Not, perhaps, enough to feed the family till the refrigerator gets fixed. It depends how fast my husband is.

These are things that I remember from my childhood. Most of the things fitting the description were complete mysteries to me. I considered buying Banquet dinners for the boys. They were on sale for $1 each. I stood looking at the meal of fish, macaroni, and pudding, and wondered what you could put in those things that would make it possible to sell it for $1. Corn and palm tree by-products, of course, but what would they taste like? I passed over them.

I went on to work, where we were mad busy, and one customer stayed till 6:30. When she finally left and I got all the paperwork done, I got home in time to cook chicken (thawed in the microwave) and noodles and frozen vegetables.

Then the Schwan’s man arrived with a bag of frozen dinners. “Is this your order?” he asked skeptically. I usually get fruits and veg from him, with the healthier pizzas and sorbet. I explained my plight: the work schedule, the dead refrigerator. He was quite sympathetic and assured me that he would bring me dinner “any time.” By which of course he meant, on my scheduled day and I will pay him large sums of money.

Actually, these prepared foods cost the same amount that I usually spend on groceries for a week. The amount of actual nutrition I’ve bought is not comparable to my usual haul, but we will see how everyone likes it.

#2 daughter likes her new job, and finishes early enough to go on to the temp job she needs to finish up, and is enjoying her rehearsals as well. Her car arrived and she is beginning to move into her apartment a bit. #1 daughter will be coming to visit in a couple of weeks.

# 1 son was complaining a bit yesterday. “I had to get up at 9:00,” he said, “and lie around for hours. Then I had to play basketball in the hot sun and come home and lie around some more.” It is possible that I have been whining about my schedule too much. He could — gasp! — be making fun of me. I am hitting the gym only a couple of times a week and being pretty adamant about spending the evening relaxing with the family, so I actually am getting enough R&R. I should quit whining.

Especially now that I have all those magical prepared foods.