Editor’s note: My dad is 93 years old and isolated in a small apartment in a nursing home in Oregon. I live in North Carolina. I write him often. Here’s today’s email.

Hi, Dad,

So Sarah has been on a diet for some time that involves nutrition shakes.

The recipe is two scoops of this, two scoops of that, two cups of ice (more on that in a moment) and one cup of water, blended.

Our old blender didn’t do a very good job, so we splurged and bought a blender called Ninja, of the kind that bars use.

It seemed to work really well, but unreplaceable components wore out and we had to buy a second one about a year and a half later.

We visited our friends Nina and Ralph for a weekend and forgot to pack the blender. Nina had her mother’s base-model Proctor Silex blender gathering dust on top of her refrigerator, and Sarah used it to make her shakes.

It did an amazing job. Freakishly so. Like, how in the hell did it do such a good job in such a short amount of time we barely turned it on.

Nina never used the blender and gave it to Sarah, although Nina being Nina, I think she would have given it to Sarah even if she used it to run her dialysis machine (hypothetically speaking).

A few days ago, the plastic blender jar formed a hairline crack. This morning, the electric motor started protesting in solidarity.

We’re going to order a new one on Wednesday, when our stimulus money is supposed to finally arrive.

Back to the ice that I mentioned earlier, I think I told you that we bought a very nice refrigerator from ReStore, a second-hand store operated by Habitat for Humanity. We shop there often, but it has been closed (I think it may reopen today; we’re in Phase 1 of lifting restrictions).

The refrigerator is brushed stainless steel, side-by-side refrigerator up top, with a spacious freezer at the bottom. We bought it about a month before the lockdown.

The timing was good. I am amazed at how many frozen pizzas it holds.

Also, now that we have an ice maker, we don’t have to buy bags of ice any more. For awhile, we made our own ice. I repurposed a freezer bin for ice production and would fill it with water. Once frozen, I broke it up with an ice pick and dumped it into another freezer bin. Ice production took up half of our old freezer. We would never have survived the lockdown.

It wasn’t much of an inconvenience, making ice. Our friends from New York now Florida called the ice that we made “shards,” only pronounced it “shawds” which is how I started pronouncing it.

Closing note on the stimulus money. We plan to be very judicious in how we use it — a new blender, bills, a motorcycle, and prescription meds.

Love,

Randy Foster, via iPad

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