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After Two Weeks, We Have Heat Back in Our House

February 26, 2015

Single digit temperatures.

Blowing snow and ice.

Power failures.

I’m telling you, Admiral Peary had nothing on us.

As of 11:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, the Ponderosa got heat once again.  Yes, it’s true – our home is starting to thaw.  It’s been two weeks, brother.  We’ve had entryways blanketed, venting systems blocked and space heaters screaming in every barricaded room in our house.

It got down to zero one night.  Another night the temperature was dancing around two degrees.1f

To all my South Dakota friends, stop laughing. To us, it was cold.

This is the first day I’ve walked around the house with less than two pairs of socks and sandwich bags engulfing my feet. Jill had wrapped her robe around her sweatshirt and jeans.  Ten-year old Julianne had learned the art of multi-layering; sometimes she looked like the Michelin Man.

As I had written in an earlier blog two weeks ago, I came home one day after school to find out our heating unit had finally given up.  It had started choking at the beginning of the week, but was bravely holding on – a noble effort, considering the unit was probably installed right after the Eisenhower Administration.  I had been tweaking and coaxing it, and it gamely did its best through the better part of the week, but it was a real Sisyphean effort.  It flat-lined on Wednesday, and that’s about the same time the first Arctic Blast moved in.  Great timing.

Manny, our Eastern European heating and air fellow I had spoken about earlier, sadly walked off into the sunset.  It took him a week of us enduring refrigerated cold in our home to let us know the news, and it wasn’t good – but his theatrics were great, to be honest.  He was unable to obtain the right part, he said, quietly shrugging his shoulders and mopping his eyes as he told me there was nothing he could do.  Emotion choked Manny’s voice as he bid me Godspeed in my endeavor to keep the family warm.  He shook my hand warmly – really, the first heat I’d felt in quite a few days.  Manny may not have done us much good, but I still admired the emotion he put into everything he did.  He will be missed.

I furiously dialed around and found a highly recommended service from across town.  Drew was here almost within the hour.  Good news – he replaced the faulty part.

Bad news.  There was a second faulty part. It would take a few more days.

Jill, Julie and I looked at each other and gritted our teeth.  We held on, wrapped in Indian blankets and the warmth of our kitchen oven.  We waited.  Finally, finally we got our answer.   Today, the very kind heating and air gentleman came over with the needed parts.  Even better – they’ll take a payment program so we can pay off these parts in installments.  We practically bowed to him.

And now we have heat.  Heat.  Warmth.  Amazing how we overlook the little things in life.  We’re dancing around the place like it’s a Hawaiian luau, even daring to take off our socks.  We live dangerously, I know.

And we are thankful.  Oh, how thankful.

It’s a big thing to us.  And yes, we prayed for safety as well as a good attitude through these past two weeks.  I became more appreciative of the little things for which we can thank God.  A hot cup of coffee.  A good thick winter jacket.  A roof that doesn’t leak.  I tend to forget these things a lot.

Now we are giving thanks in many other areas, for things we often overlooked.  For example:

For God’s goodness and loyal love.  (1 Cor.16:34)

For God’s answers to prayer. (Psalm 118:21)

For good friends He sends our way. (Philippians 1:3)

And for wrapping up in a blanket, holding a steaming mug of coffee laced with local honey, looking out through the kitchen window and realizing that the backyard trees and hilly horizon beyond – well, they just look real pretty on a snowy, frosty Tennessee sunrise.

Thank you, God, for the little things.  They seem mighty big to us.

 

1f

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