The Day the Furnace Broke

There is always something interesting going on at the homestead, even in the depth of winter when progress and construction has slowed to a halt.

Present-Day Jenna just inserting a little note before the rest of the post for this week. I’ve been doing my best to stay positive and move through each day and week doing the best I can to keep those who are precious to me safe. But some days, it really feels like Death is hiding around every corner.

Each week, and now each day it seems, Death has been taking people in increasingly closer proximity. Mostly death by Covid, but a few not. And these friends. These college friends, these musician friends, these high school friends, work friends, and neighbors…I am utterly sorry that Death has taken your loved ones. Several parents, many grandparents, and a sibling have all been taken in the last month.

I’m so thankful the vaccine is finally going out to those in healthcare. I’m so hopeful that there will be an end to Covid. But I think Death is still nearby, and hasn’t finished yet. And I hope you, dear reader, stay safe and watch out for Death; as long as you can.

We had an ice storm in November that had schools letting out early to avoid icy roads. And shortly after all of that our furnace stopped working.

Gus enjoying the snow storms by burying his face.

It happened on a Saturday night (I believe). I had made something to eat and was binge watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (because I didn’t watch it in high school and thought I should up my pop culture knowledge on such a cold night). Every time I got up to run to the bathroom or refill my glass of water, I felt like I was getting colder. To the point where, I finally checked the thermostat. It said it was at 58 degrees, despite being set for 67.

I called Tyler and he had me try turning it off and turning it on…and looking around downstairs to see if I could tell what was going on. (Other than a piece of equipment down there being on fire, I’m not sure what he thought I would possibly notice).

The furnace started up for a couple minutes and then stopped again when I switched it from off back to on.

I feel it’s pertinent to inject here that while we haven’t been living in our house for very long (four years), our furnace was thrifted. It wasn’t something brand new. So, the fact that it was having issues, didn’t surprise Tyler.

I grabbed extra blankets and slept in socks and leggings that night to prepare for the cold. Fortunately, Gus laid on my legs almost all night to keep me extra warm (warm enough that I ditched the socks mere hours after trying to go to bed wearing them).

In the morning, it was 54 in the house. I don’t know if you’ve ever slept in 54degree weather, but that is brisk for nighttime when your core body temperature naturally lowers.

We used a small, cube, electric heater on the main floor when we were home and both around to help with the cold. The temperature outside was in the teens and twenties during this whole experience.

The guy who installed our furnace came by and discovered that we needed a particular part to reinstate the furnace into working order. It was Sunday, and we were going to have to make it another day without heat. Our house warmed up to 58 during the day with the electric heater on, but didn’t ever break 60.

The worst part, was probably that Tyler had to go help move snow at the school at 3:45am one morning. (He loves the big plows the schools use and works with the maintenance staff to remove snow after storms). And doing so meant getting up at the time in the cold house.

But by Monday evening when I returned home from teaching in Spencer, Tyler had gotten the new part and fixed the furnace. As usual, I missed all the action of what actually happened, but I didn’t care so much this time. Because we had heat again, just in time to have a few remaining beautiful November days.

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