After hearing about Repair Cafe, I was not willing to give up on it. Shortly after my housemate vacated, the next date for Repair Cafe arrived. It was a gorgeous sunny day. I packed the toaster in my bike bag and rode with a friend who wanted to go with me. Our mutual interest in sustainability cemented our friendship that day.
We arrived to tables and tents set up in a local coffee shop parking lot. When my turn came, I gave my toaster to the tinkerer, anticipating the worst. He looked it over, plugged it in, and it was still dead. I felt relief that this was not a car going to the mechanic that works once it arrives at the shop. He turned it upside down, and crumbs fell out. He found the crumb tray tab and gently pulled on it. The toaster held fast to the crumb tray. He tugged a little harder, and out popped a small piece of charcoal that was once a square of toast. All three of us startled and laughed. He plugged the toaster in again, in case that was the issue, and the elements lit right up.
My faithful toaster, it turns out, did not need a repair at all. Had there not been a Repair Cafe in Pasadena though, it would have met its fate. The roommate had been all too willing to throw it out. I became a Repair Cafe volunteer soon after. These days, my toaster resides in the cupboard, retired. The friend who went with me on that first trip, and I, are living happily ever after, anticipating the next Repair Cafe.