28 January 2007

No heat?

This weekend, our neighbors are on vacation and we are taking care of their cats. Although my two daughters are in charge of looking in on the cats, I seem to be the one to awaken early and trudge across the road to feed them.

Yesterday morning, I decided to take a bit of work with me, as the house was empty and quiet, other than the cats. It was only a walk across the road, but with temperatures well below zero, I had to go through the daily repertoire of putting on coat, muffler, gloves, hat, etc. I gathered up my books and ventured out into the early morning cold.

Much to my surprise, when I opened the door to the house, the air inside did not warm me, as expected. It seems the heater had gone off sometime in the night, after we'd fed the cats earlier in the evening. I could see my breath in the living room.

I checked the thermometer and it had bottomed out, below 50. The temperature outside had reached about 9 below zero during the night, and the wind had been ferocious.

I quickly turned the heat up high and then checked the kitchen and bathroom for leaks. All seemed well, and the house quickly began to warm again. Of course, all my plans for working in a quiet, cozy house were dashed. I sat in my coat and hat for about 20 minutes, trying to get some paperwork done, but my fingers were too cold to work without the gloves. By the time the house was warm, it was time to keep the coat on and venture back home again.

At times like that, I'm thankful to have a wood-burning stove. Our neighbors have one, too, and I'd have gladly fired it up, had the heater not come back on. The frigid temperatures can quickly do a number on our pipes if we let the house get too cold.

This morning, things have warmed up considerably. It's 15 degrees outside!

Copyright © 2007 - Paulla Estes

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