Nerves frayed in the Christopherson household when the ice-maker breaks down.

    So maybe we raised our boys right. Not only do they like water and drink what seemingly appears to be a healthy amount of water - it's the building block of life, after all - they realize that water is made that much better when served with...frozen water.


    We're big on ice water in our house, and why shouldn’t we be, when accessing both is so darn easy. There are studies out there that say people who have refrigerators with built-in ice and water dispensers drink more water, and I endorse that finding. What did I drink in the afternoons and evenings before we had a fridge that served ice and water? I can’t recall, but I can’t believe I didn’t go to the ER weekly with a severe case of dehydration.


    We remodeled our kitchen several years ago and as part of the remodel we bought new appliances, and as part of those purchases we bought a fridge with an ice and water dispenser on the front. It's the first time in my life I've lived with such an innovation.


    Sure, any water is good, or at least good for you. In our fridge in the garage, amid various other beverages, there is always at least a case of bottled water. But we often tell the boys to save the bottles for their lunches or if they want a bottle when they're heading out somewhere. If they're in the house and they're thirsty for some water, we tell them to save the bottles in the garage and use the water and ice dispenser in the upstairs fridge.


    Most days, when I get home from work, I fill a big plastic cup with ice water. It stays on the kitchen counter for the rest of the night. Throughout the evening, as I come and go, I take guzzles, add more water, add more ice, and just keep on drinking it. I don't know what it adds up to as far as volume when it comes to the health experts who say you should drink a 16-gallon keg of water every day, but I always feel pretty good when it comes to the amount of water I drink every day. You’d think I’d be healthier...I’m even well into my second year with my standing desk at work.


    Recently, our ice-maker went on the fritz. I don't know what "on the fritz" means – Should I capitalize Fritz? Is it named for some dude from long ago who had lots of things that fell into disrepair or otherwise didn’t function properly? – but I'm using the phrase in the context of the ice-maker didn't entirely break down, it just started working at far less than full capacity.


    And it's thrown our lives for a loop.


    It was making about 15 cubes a day on a good day. We're most on edge on the days when it makes closer to 10 cubes. I think I actually yelled at my wife one evening because she didn’t buy the more suitable Ghirardelli chocolate chips at the store and came home with run-of-the-mill Toll House brand instead.             

    When you figure that in an average evening before we were befallen by this frozen water malady I'd probably go through 20 or so cubes myself, you can imagine how frayed our nerves are, how stretched thin we are when it comes to getting as much mileage out of 10 to 15 cubes a day as we can.


    I've literally worked up a full-body sweat trying to figure out what in the world is going on with that ice maker. It culminated last weekend with my wife and I defrosting the freezer, even though there wasn't a molecule of frost build-up in the freezer and we were 99.9 percent certain that wouldn't do the trick. It didn't. The next day, I disconnected the wiring, removed the housing around the motor and ripped the entire unit out of the freezer. I cleaned it off and then just looked at it, afraid to dig deeper. There was a dial on the motor that I was dying to mess with, but in big, bold letters it advised me to never turn the dial manually. I didn't.


    It gets worse. I twisted and turned and otherwise jimmied the ice-maker until it latched back into place in the freezer, and it hasn’t made one cube since.


    Desperation has since set in. We bought a massive bag of ice at Hugo’s. We bought ice cube trays at Wal-Mart. I’m actually talking to the ice-maker like it’s one of our cats, or my pickup. “Come on, girl, make some ice. You can do it, girl...”


    She’s giving me the cold shoulder.