Baby, it’s cold up here in the north county and expected to get colder, after we have 8 to 12 inches of snow. So when I started out 2014 with being awaken at 2 AM with loud, terrible noise coming from our boiler/furnace-I don’t really know the difference-panic set in. After deciding it wasn’t going to blow up-I made a fast exit plan to grab Arnie-the favorite cat and the dogs and let Jack-the pain in the ___ cat and my husband fend for themselves-I turned down the thermostats so they wouldn’t call for much heat and went back to bed. When I got up around 6 AM and turned up the heat a bit, the boiler came on and so did the noise.
I remember the day we bought “Scarlet”, over 24 years ago. On February 17, 1989 our home burned down, not quite to the ground, but almost. It was a difficult ordeal but with the help of friends and insurance, we got through it and rebuilt the house. It was my husband’s second time to build the house. He had gutted it 20 years before when he was married to his first wife and completely renovated it. Having to do it all over again was really hard for him. We were about four months into the project when we went to look at this combination wood/oil boiler that he had read about. It was expensive but we decided to go for it and it was the first thing about the rebuilding project that I saw him excited about.
For many years we mostly used Scarlet as a wood boiler. Burning wood is a lot of work. We would buy log lengths and then cut, split and stack the wood. Then you have to bring in the wood and tend the fire. As time went on we found this more and more difficult to do so for the past several years we have been oil consumers. Since Scarlet was built to mainly use wood, her appetite for oil is voracious. We have talked about replacing her with a more energy efficient model but she is like an old friend, actually part of the family!
I know it was New Year’s Day, so I waited until 8 AM before calling Carlton, our wonderful heating guy. He said he would be here after his wife made him the special breakfast she had planned. (funeral directors are not the only ones on call 24/7). When he arrived it only took him a few minutes to asset the situation it wasn’t good. The ball bearings in the motor where shot. The motor would have to be replaced and maybe other parts and maybe he had them, maybe not.
I paced the floor; I tried to stay busy; I worked on a plan for what to do if he couldn’t fix it. My husband worked on his crossword puzzle and occasionally checked in on Carlton. I tried to stay calm but I wanted action-shouldn’t we be bringing in wood in case we needed to build a fire in our little wood stove! But I keep my mouth shut and finally left with the dogs for a walk.
When I returned I smelled the comforting fragrance of oil burning. Scarlet was running!!! Carlton had once again given her new life.
So I start the New Year with gratitude. I am grateful to Carlton for coming when I needed him and for persevering when it looked hopeless. And I am grateful to my husband who doesn’t panic. He leaves that up to me.
I look forward to 2014 and whatever it brings. Actually, I look forward to every day. I hope you do to.