Thursday, October 16, 2014

Heat is a Good Option

People who know me, know that I keep my house rather on the cool side.  Some of my friends keep slippers at my place so their feet don't freeze when they come to visit.  It's not uncommon for guests to wear warm sweaters or wrap one of the throws that I keep in the living room around their shoulders, while I parade around in a t-shirt.  I can't stand being too hot.  

When I arrived home from work on Tuesday evening, I was not the least bit uncomfortable.  My house felt cool and refreshing at 18 degrees and my evening routine unfolded without my being the least bit suspect that anything was amiss.  

Until bedtime.  At 10:30 I prepared to retire to bed to read for a while and I noticed that the house felt unusually cool.  I was surprised to see that the thermostat said that it was only 15 degrees though it was set for 18.  Hmmmm...

I tapped the switch up a notch and was satisfied to hear the furnace drone to life below me.  Confident that the furnace knew what to do I continued with my evening ablutions.  Teeth brushed, hair braided, face washed, I was fluffing my pillows when it dawned on me that there was no warm air rushing out of the vent in my bedroom.  Hmmmm....

After a bit of investigation I came to the conclusion that the furnace was not working.  It was far too late to be calling anyone, so I grabbed an extra blanket and plugged a space heater in and went to bed.  The noise from the heater kept me awake and I finally unplugged it.  It wasn't that cold!  I figured I'd survive the night and deal with the problem in the morning.

In the morning, I called a repairman.  There was no answer, so I called another repairman.  That repairman was unavailable, so I call the first one back and left a message.  Some friends texted or called to offer support in the form of extra heaters and other advice.  I was not about to attempt any furnace repairs on my own, so I was ecstatic when a very good friend offered to come and check it out for me that evening.  When the repairman called back, I thanked him for getting back to me and put him on hold for Thursday in case we couldn't figure it out.  

In very short order, we determined that the furnace wasn't getting any gas.  But we couldn't figure out why.

"Did you pay your gas bill?" my friend asked.  

"Yes!"  Of course I paid my gas bill.  Silly!

As the confusion elevated, the notion to go outside and look at the meter popped into my head.  I had no idea what looking at the meter was going to do for me, but I went anyway, exiting through the basement door (which I very, very rarely use).  Yep, that's a gas meter, I thought as I shone the beam from my iPhone flashlight over it.  And then I went back inside.  Something on the handle fluttered as I opened the door.  

It was a notice from Pacific Northern Gas informing me that they had installed a brand new meter and had left the gas off.  Oh, for heaven's sake!

"I think I know what's wrong," I called out, waving the notice in the air.

I handed the notice to my friend, who executed a perfect eye roll and uttered a mild oath. 

It would have been better if this had been left
on my main entrance door, instead of the basement
door that I rarely use.  But it is still better than a
repair bill!  
A few minutes later, the furnace whooshed to life and began to merrily force hot air through the duct work again.  Soon my house was back to normal cool, a comfortable 18 degrees.  

As I lay in bed later, I realized that I had not once agonized over this situation.  Not once did a worst-case scenario invade my psyche and send me into a dither.  Somehow, I managed to remain calm about it all.  Somehow I knew that it would all work out.  

And then I felt a profound appreciation and sense of gratitude envelop me.  The kindness of my friends who offered to help was so heartwarming.  I am so very, very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life.  For this I am truly thankful.  

I am thankful, too, that it did work out the way it did.  Even if my house is usually on the cool side, heat is a good option!   

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