Well, that last post's announcement that the old fridge can still be used may be a false alarm. My husband (in his infinite mechanical wisdom) said, "We have to unplug it once, let it warm up again and then try plugging it in again. If it gets cold again without any problems, we're in the clear!"
So that's what we did. But after plugging it in the second time, it didn't chill, and the ominous cracking noises began again. Get me off this stupid polar cap! I want my new refrigerator, and I want to stop this ridiculous reporting back and forth about how we can or cannot keep our food from perishing! Please tell me a resolution is imminent!