Be careful before you pull the plug

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(This is the final word on my heating problem. It will soon be resolved. In fact, as I sit here waiting for the tornedos to roll through to make way for a chance for snow, I’m actually mopping my brow and running the fan. I’m almost inviting the cold front to come on down. But here’s the column which will appear in papers in the morning.)

I feel like a child of the Great Depression, rather than a bouncing baby boomer caught up in the Great Recession!

I dared to leave home for a few days, and returned with hopes of sitting by the fire and reading my new mystery novel which I bought in Nashville. As I entered my home, I felt a bone chilling north wind. I rushed to the thermostat and saw it register 50 degrees… that’s as low as it goes. I suspect the temperature was more like 30. What the…?

I called my trusty repair man and he came right over. As he tinkered around outside, I felt like O.J. Simpson, knowing my luck just ran out. Sure enough. He came in looking very grim. The prognosis wasn’t good. NO! NOT NOW. I’m having a party this week.

Mr. Heat, Don Rhodes, has never let me down in 10 years. He can twiddle around with the wires and make them work, but not this time. He said my “heat converter pan” had rusted out and replacement would be pricey. He thought I might want to consider replacing the whole unit. Or not. I chose the latter course. Problem is, the part won’t arrive until December 14 and we’re facing some record-breaking temps before then.

I tried to light my gas logs in the dining room to no avail. I called the gas company where I bought the crummy things, but got someone speaking Spanish. I drove to the gas company and the receptionist was very sweet but told me to forget it. “We don’t service what we sell” is basically what she was saying. She gave me a list of plumbers.

Hardy har har! Have you tried to call a plumber lately? Forget it. Don called his friend, the handle bar mustached Mark, the person who installed my dining room gas logs in the first place. Mark’s the cutest thing, since forever. He came over as soon as he got off work at the mean ole gas company and got me cooking. He wouldn’t even take a nickel for his time.

Between the gas fireplace in my den and the newly connected logs in the dining room, I had some heat – for about 10 minutes. Suddenly my gas logs in the den revolted. They were burning brightly one moment, then the blower went eerily silent. I could look at a roaring fire, but felt only a modicum of heat.

I called Artis, owner of Starkville Fireplaces and between sobs, I heard him say he would come right over. Within minutes he was crawling into the fireplace while I stood idly by looking like the Goodyear blimp (I had on three layers of fleece). He admitted he wasn’t a technician and his service person was out of town for the next five days.

He got the service man to call me and try to walk me through a check list to determine the problem. I did everything he suggested, but no luck.

“It just doesn’t sound like your blower is getting any power,” he declared.

Something registered in the back of my lame brain. Did he say power? I glanced over at the nearest outlet. As I strung Christmas lights to convert my home into a honky tonk, I remember that ugly black plug that didn’t seem to be connected to anything important.

I jerked out the Christmas lights, and put back the black plug. Low and behold, my blower began to hum! I FIXED it, I shouted. I didn’t have the nerve to tell him what I’d done.

The point of this whole dismal tale, is that there are still people in this world who really do care and don’t want to see a girl freeze to death.. And I still have some “hot” men in my life thanks to Artis, Mark and Don.

(Now, I promise, that’s all I have to say about that.)

5 thoughts on “Be careful before you pull the plug

  1. I’m so glad you are warm again. LOL!! I’ve been there.
    (I’m Esther Goodman’s sister….down in Lillian, Alabama)
    I look forward to reading your blogs. You are a hoot!

  2. Hi Faye – nice to meet you! Thanks for the kind note. We’ve got a winter storm warning out up here. I’ve got on the same three layers of fleece I’ve been wearing for a week. Going out now to buy another layer!

  3. I am enjoying and laughing ever day. Your making things that happen to all of us, laughable. I realize it is not funny at all to you. If you were closer I’d let you warm and hang out at our place, but hey we wouldn’t get the great tales. thanks for giving us something to laugh about in this world.

  4. It’s been SNOWING since 3 PM and through the night here (Wednesday) in HOUSTON with temperatures now hovering around freezing and perhaps a tad lower. Earlier today, the wind chills were in the 20’s. Thankfully, it’s supposed to start a warming trend starting tomorrow. Bad news is the snow and weather are heading east. Sorry!

    Some adults were overheard to say, “This is what I moved here to get away from!” To contrast that attitude, on the news tonight, they showed some elementary age kids reveling in all this. The snow in the area pictured started about the time the buses filled with these young students were pulling away from the school, headed for their homes. Spontaneously, they had all started singing Christmas carols at the first sight of big flakes coming down.

    Outside, one kid was shown doing the “Home Alone” scream, only in shear delight. Another youngster was literally doing summersaults (sp) over the snowy lawn. I’ll bet at their age, I was no different the first snow I was old enough to get out and play in. This doesn’t happen every year here, but a few years ago, it snowed all evening and night on Christmas Eve, so we awakened to snowy rooftops which looked like Christmas cards on Christmas morning, soooo…I still had at least one more neat memory to make, even at this stage of life. I wonder what will come next.

    By the way, it even snowed in Galveston and other places receiving the most damage from Hurricane Ike.

    Stay warm everyone!

  5. No! I want the snow!!!! But all we get is rain, rain and more rain. Lucky Dawg hasn’t been out to do her business in 24 hours. She refuses to get her hair wet. I’m thinking of setting up a cat litter box and she if she will use that!

    Very jealous about your snow. It appears to be going south of us, but hope springs eternal. One weather man says it might turn to snow later this morning.

    Still no heat and the weather guy says wind chill will hover near ZERO today. I’m wearing my electric blanket with a very long extension cord which means I can’t go far!


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