Weekend Wanderer: Indiana Jones, by Way of Maryland 

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weekend wanderer

What do the new Indiana Jones movie, my spiraling refrigerator, and Indy’s Maryland property have in common? 

The answer is a story and then some. 

I would start at the beginning, but I don’t know where that is, exactly. It might start in the ’50s, when Indy bought the Maryland property. 

It might start with Raiders of the Lost Ark, or the night someone in my house — not me, that’s for sure — left the refrigerator door open. 

It’s curious, but I think this whole thing started with the dying refrigerator, even though that fiasco started long after Maryland and Raiders

See, we returned from vacation to find the freezer quietly quitting.  

I mean, not like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, abdicating with speeches and manifestos and desperate phone calls to clients.  

No. The freezer was more like Winona Ryder in Reality Bites — intentionally and incredibly bad at its job. 

All the work I put into it — defrosting it, vacuuming the coils, scrubbing it clean — in the end, it didn’t matter. 

“The fridge is dead,” my husband said. “Buy a new one.” 

Oh please. Saying that for the last month hadn’t made it true.  

But one day I stumbled into the kitchen, driven from my bed by jet lag. A sliver of light framed the fridge door. 

It had been left open. 

All night. 

Again. 

Not by me.  

The produce, dairy, meat, mayonnaise I’d bought with impunity after I fixed the fridge — all of it, gone. Just gone.  

I capitulated. I bought a new refrigerator. That day. Death had won. 

It would take ten days for the new refrigerator to arrive. During that time, we lived out of the refrigerator in the garage. Meal prep meant multiple treks from the kitchen to the garage and back. 

There were bitter complaints about the lack of food, even though the garage refrigerator was as stocked as the kitchen refrigerator on its best day. 

There was the day one of the kids dropped an egg in the garage, assured me it had been cleaned up, and was dreadfully, dreadfully wrong.  

There was the day someone forgot the kitchen freezer was on sabbatical, stuffed it with a pint of ice cream, and retrieved a tub of chocolate soup the next day. 

The day before the new refrigerator mercifully arrived, I sold the Maryland property. The closing was in Maryland, where piles of documents dismantled 65 years of Indy’s legendary Maryland property. 

I had the option of bringing Willie to Maryland, to sign the paperwork in person. I could make a four-hour round trip. 

In a car. 

With Willie. 

Or I could spend $300 to have a notary come to Willie’s place here in Pennsylvania for 20 minutes of document signing. 

I paid the $300.  

For so many reasons. 

I made the much shorter trip of taking Willie to the new Indiana Jones movie the day after the new refrigerator arrived. 

Listen, I knew that movie would be a struggle for me.  

What I didn’t expect — but should have expected — was the struggle of taking Willie to a movie. 

I bought tickets for the crew of us attending the movie — through an app, a week ahead of time, like a normal person living in 2023. 

“You’ll be lucky if we can all sit together!” Willie exclaimed.  

Was it even worth my breath to explain how movie apps work?  

The answer doesn’t really matter.  

I explained anyway. 

She lost her mind when she discovered the concessions I ordered an hour before I ever picked her up, waiting for us, my name on the soda cups. 

“But,” said Willie, never one to miss a chance to point out the negative, “they didn’t butter my popcorn!” 

“Hey Willie,” I said. “I buttered your popcorn. Me. I buttered it.” 

“You buttered it?” Willie asked, eyes wide with amazement. “Wow. I guess I haven’t been to a movie since … ” 

“The 20th century?” I supplied, along with a healthy eye roll. 

We settled in to watch Indiana Jones, the gang of us. It occurred to me the film’s events take place seven months after my parents were married. Here we were, seven months after Indy went to Marion’s bar in Nepal

With that thought, all I could think about next was the refrigerator. The refrigerator. The refrigerator! 

Who sees an Indiana Jones movie and thinks about a dead refrigerator? 

Well, me. I do. 

It’s all related in my head — my Indy, Harrison Ford’s Indy, the refrigerator, the Maryland property. That I rid myself of the refrigerator and the Maryland property over the course of the same three days I saw Indiana Jones twice — I don’t know.  

Is it the universe making it pour instead of just rain? Is it Indy, reaching out from Marion’s bar? Mere coincidence? 

I’ll never know. 

I do know that I don’t like the new refrigerator. Its shelves lack dividing lines like the old fridge. How do I know where the condiments go without distinct shelves?  

There’s no cheese drawer. And the crispers! They actually crisp. They don’t freeze produce like the old fridge. That’s a life without adventure right there. 

You know, as King Arthur is dying in Le Morte D’Arthur, he tells his grieving knight to comfort himself. 

I can almost hear Indy saying the same thing. 

But I don’t need comfort. 

I just need somewhere to put the mustard. 

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