It is so easy.
All it is, is water.
I think the complication begins when you have to hold the tray under the faucet.
When I was young, like everybody else, I was full of dreams.
So much so, that I wrote the recipe down and set it on the counter, thinking that my husband, would learn how to do it.
He did.
But he only made them that one time.
I didn't even try to explain it to my sweet Sven.
I was twenty-nine when we married.
At forty-nine, I was the last person on earth to get my very first flip phone.
I was milling around in Saint Vinny's and all of a sudden, Singing in the Rain, was blasting out of my purse. I grabbed that pretty little thing and said, "Hello?"
And that is the precise moment that I became, thoroughly modern Millie.

It was also the year that our refrigerator took a downward spiral and then plummeted to a nasty death.
Standing in Menards, with tears in my eyes, I pointed to a fancy replacement.
"I like that one," I said.
"Okay," said Sven.
"Because it matches that stove."
"Millie, we aren't set up for a gas stove."
"But I like that color. And that's the only stove in that color."
"But Millie."
"But Sven"
"Fine," he says. "I'll convert us over to gas."
You see, when you are as modern as I happened to be, you don't settle for just any color.
And you also do not waste your time running water into ice cube trays and bitching about those stubborn frozen little bastards who refuse to pop out of their little squares.
You've got messages to text.
And scrolling to do.
Well, you can't scroll on a flip phone.
But, as I recall each letter that I typed was about as long as the entire Morse Code, and God forbid if I wanted to use punctuation. There was just no time for mundane tasks.
Making ice cubes was simply, beneath me.
And when that pair of brushed nickel appliances arrived, I jumped up and down and then we plugged them in.
And then I said, "Uh-oh."
And Sven said, "What?"
I said, "Um. The ice cube dispenser isn't working."
He says, "It's not hooked up."
I said, "So, when are you going to hook it up?"
And he says, "I'm not sure we can make it work here."
That's when I saw a big flash of white and I went into a long trance.
Sven will tell you that I was staring him down.
But really, I couldn't even see him.
I was too busy reliving the time that we'd sold our house and the first thing that woman did was install a dishwasher.
"How did she do that?" I'd said in shock.
"I never said it couldn't be done," Sven had answered.
Clearly, it had been a simple misunderstanding.
A simple misunderstanding that was never going to happen again.
I didn't say a word.
I was still traveling through time.
The stare down that I wasn't even having with Sven took care of the matter.
This is why I am no fan of the mindful movement.
I am usually in a different moment than the one that I am in.
But I believe that if you are someplace other than where you are, you are still someplace. And wherever that someplace is, and whatever is going on there, could be just as important as wherever you are and whatever is going on there.
That ice maker was all hooked up and working by the next afternoon.
It has ever since.
But enough about me.
Because this story is about my sister, Louisa.
Last week she had a birthday.
In order to protect her privacy and out of the goodness of my heart, I will not divulge her age.
She claims that it wasn't even a birthday present.
That it was merely a coincidence that a brand-new refrigerator, with an ice dispenser, was delivered to her house on her special weekend.
I am very happy for her.
Because Louisa has longed to be modern, just like me, for a very long time.
Don't get me wrong.
She is pretty savvy.
I mean, she can snap chat.
And just a couple weeks ago she posted a live video of her lap on Facebook.
But beyond all of the excitement over technology and her relief that she was wearing pants during her show, it is also a sad time.
The end of an era.
No longer will we be able to enjoy Louisa's homemade ice cubes.
And she makes the best damn ice cubes in the world.
She's had plenty of practice.
Sixty years' worth.
Day in and day out.
Ice cubes, ice cubes and more ice cubes.
She says she can make them in her sleep.
According to my calculation of two dozen cubes a day, for three hundred and sixty-five days, multiplied by sixty, Louisa has made more than a half a million squares of ice.
Now she wants to retire.
And so, with that refrigerator delivery, it's over.
But, she is so sweet.
She has always had a kind heart.
She saved her last batch of homemade ice, and she made a Bloody Mary for Giselle and I, that we enjoyed while we admired her new thoroughly modern appliance, before heading to the big city with some more girlfriends, and somehow ended up in a music video.
If you see us girls on MTV while you are flipping through channels, don't be surprised.
We will never be a bunch of little old ladies who sit around at home making ice.
And if you run into that street guy, the fidgety one with the beard and stocking hat, who makes a living a dollar a joke at a time, and he tells you my favorite monk joke, you can thank me.

Image 41

Because it's a good one.

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