Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Our heater can't keep up but it could be worse...

Anyone even mildly paying attention to the news in the U.S. is aware we are in the grip of a truly deep freeze right now.

How cold is it you ask?  Cold enough that our normally superb heating system simply can't keep up.

Thermostat set to 72, actual temperature 65.

Even though it is a little chilly here in the house, I am actually pretty thankful.

Why?  Because one of my worst memories of my childhood was my first winter in Mustang, OK (right about here but I think our house is gone now).  My parents bought an old farmhouse house on land contract from the rancher across the road and that first winter the pipes in the house froze solid.  So Dad and 7th-Grade-Russ got to go outside in the Oklahoma plains wind (which few civilized places can match), dig down through the frozen ground at the foundation of the house, hammer sewing pins into the black PVC pipe to try to locate how far back the water had frozen so we knew where to start trying to heat the pipe with the hand-held acetylene torch that was almost impossible to light in the wind.  The next winter we got a new foundation put in!  Yea!  Uh, no.  The house was lifted from the ground on two iron beams and the gas was disconnected from the furnace so they could replace the cinder blocks in the foundation.  Only heat was leaving the oven open in the kitchen.

I also remember having to take the car battery out of my car when I lived in Ohio in my 20's so that my car would start in the morning so I could go to work.  Battery acid ruined some of my clothes which I could ill-afford at the time.

Today I am in my chilly house while it is -12 outside.  My wife and I are pretty comfortable.  My 84-year-old mother-in-law is comfortable over at her place (we tried to get her to let us bring her to our house but nope), neither of my grown children are outside in the wind trying to fix frozen pipes at their places and my vehicles will crank right up whenever I go to start them because I have a pretty nice garage.

Yup.  Damn cold here and my house is chilly but it could be worse.  I know that from experience.