Plagued by Oil

I have always had an extreme aversion to the cold.  I never quite got used to the frigid climate during my upbringing in the northeast, in our fanciful, but drafty, 150 year-old Victorian home. People have often said to me “Well, you grew up here. You’re used to the weather.”  Nope. Every year, I seem to be shocked and appalled by Mother Nature, and question her reasoning behind such an arbitrary climate shift.  Really?  Is there some sort of purpose served by ten degree temperatures?  Other than making people angry?

However, upon paying for our first oil delivery to heat our current home, my skin magically thickened and I’m able to tolerate much lower temperatures than ever before!

We put space heaters in both of the kid’s rooms, and snuggle close at night with thick comforters pulled up to our chilly ears.  It’s a challenge now. How long can we make 1000 dollars worth of oil last?  I’m always up for a challenge!

Evidently, I was not all that committed to beating this particular challenge.  After putting the kids down in there toasty rooms last evening, and curling up on the couch for some much-needed quiet time, we felt a touch absurd. Should we really be sitting in our living room donned in wool hats and mittens?  Silliness. I waved the flag and admit defeat. Turn up the heat!

20 minutes later…

No, seriously….turn up the heat.

No heat.

Hmmmm….blown fuse?


We remembered the landlord mentioning something about coming over to show us some water valve that needs to stay full. He never came, so we assumed it wasn’t important.  At midnight, we searched in the furnace room for such a tube.

There it is!  Empty.  Ok. Keep it full. Gotcha.  But once empty, how do you fill it?

We played Russian Roullete with random valves until we heard water rushing through the rusty pipes above our heads. Success! We are such clever sleuths! And we will soon be warm in our bed!

After about 30 seconds, the tube did indeed begin to fill…along with our basement floor. Is the furnace supposed to spew water out of every crevice?  We’ve been in California for a while.  We must really be out of the loop concerning new heating technology!

At 2 AM, we were still sitting with a bucket, emptying water from the gushing furnace, and could ascertain with some certainty that something was awry.
Once the furnace depleted its water supply and slowed its stream to a steady drip, we felt safe enough to turn in for the remainder of the night.

The temperature gauge read at a balmy 56 degrees. Thankfully, the space heaters in the kid’s rooms were doing their job.  With kisses on their warm and cozy foreheads, we headed to our freshly chilled room to snuggle close and listen to the clock tick its way toward business hours.

Sure enough, the furnace was completely cracked and beyond repair. Enormous expense.  Deja vu? Didn’t we hear this unfortunate news 3 weeks ago concerning our new car?  What is it with us and oil related malfunctions?  Surely there must be some New Age, spiritual meaning behind these events!  I’m not well versed in such mythology, or ideology, or whatever it may be called, but I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that it most assuredly means that we are about to win the lottery….or inherit an off shore drilling site.

They are arriving tomorrow morning to install a brand new furnace at the owner’s expense.  So tonight, we will make smoke rings with our breath, and dream of our heated mansion, and abundance of fancy, functioning, and non-combustible vehicles.

____Ford called today to confirm our address. Our Sienna is fixed and ready to be shipped. It will arrive in approximately 15 business days.  What color was it again?

10 responses to “Plagued by Oil

  1. I read a book once that said if you don’t “love” and appreciate specific things in your life, they will start to fail. Ie: if you don’t recognize the beauty of your body when it’s 5 pounds overweight, you will eventually be 50 pounds overweight. If you don’t walk into your job in the morning and say “thank you job! I love that I had to wake up at 5am and come to you today”, one day you will be sleeping in with no job to go to. If you don’t express gratitude to your trampoline in the morning for giving you a healthy, fun place to warm up your singing voice in the morning, one day it will snap a spring at you and throw you to the ground….I, for one, am going to go downstairs and tell my furnace (that seemingly is costing me a fortune to heat my house while my husband is wearing a hat and mittens to bed due to his grandmother’s apparent 90 degree temperature taste in which he is used to), that “I love you! Thank you for heating my crap hole house!”

  2. Oh Em!! I can’t believe this! I’m sorry to admit that I laughed a little at this entry…I even ran to tell Jim that your life has been like a National Lampoon’s Vacation Movie (as Karen V. said). I’m so sorry. If you are, in fact, the new owners of an off shore drilling site, I want oil for free for the rest of my life!!! We’re paying an arm and a leg too…about $1500 to fill our tank. $4.49/gallon. ??????? Well, I hope you’re nice and toasty soon. I’m not used to the weather yet either and I’ve never left this climate! Miss you. HOpe to see you guys again soon. Oh, and stop playing Russian Roulette 🙂

  3. Oh my God Em–I am just reading this now!!! Now I get the full picture of the furnace drama that you briefly mentioned yesterday! Uggh~I hate this weather–it’s my least favorite thing about living here. So glad you live in a house full of VERY snuggly people!

  4. Sara Klingebiel

    But is THAT a picture of your new house? If so, who needs heat when your house is that awesome? 😉

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