Friday, February 7, 2014
I donít know about you but Iíve had a gut full of winter. Maybe itís because Iím so used to what we call winter around here, that when ďTrueĒ winter arrived it was such a shocker. Yíall know what Iím talking about, the last week or so. I guess it started about a week or so ago on Friday, I had run to town, and I started to get a bad feeling. They were calling for some REAL cold weather that night, down in the lower teens, and like a lot of us, the older folks that is, I wonder if my heater is gonna hold up. When youíre kids the only thing we worried about is if there will be enough snow to make a snowman with, heat is Dadís problem. Well about six that evening we found out it was all of our problem, when it decided to quit!
Thatís right, remember that Friday a couple weeks ago when it got so cold, my heater decided to quit. Well I kinda figured it was too late to call anybody by then, so I figured I better come up with a plan B. but when itís 15 degrees outside, plan B might not be enough. We had two of those little space heaters, which is really a good name for them. If you are willing to sit on them, they will keep a six inch space warm for a little while.
But I did have a back up plan, the fireplace we never use. My folksí place never had one, and so I guess I grew up with the concept that building a fire inside your house is never a good idea. But with those little heaters running wide open, and the thermometer steady dropping it was time to bite the bullet. Lucky Mel is one of those people that are usually prepared for anything, so she had a couple boxes of those paper logs, so while they had crawled off to bed to wrap up in the covers, I fired one of them up.
The only problem is, they burn out after a couple hours, even thought the box said four. Maybe they were just to look pretty for four hours, but I was looking for heat! So I figured it was going to be a long night. Iíd get the fire good and stoked up, then crawl in my chair with a blanket. Then every couple hours the chill on my nose would let me know, ĎGet up Robbin, time to get the fire going again.Ē Finally about seven Mel got up and took a shift and I crawled in the bed, around noon the guy got there to fix it, and I was a happy man.
Then came the night of the big freeze, everything was going good till it started raining, freezing, sleeting, whatever it was. And you guessed it, the unit froze up. Luckily it made it till the middle of the night, and I didnít notice it till around seven, when it started getting cold in the house, big time! So it was back to the drawing board, little heater and the fire place. I talked to a friend of mine a couple days later, and theirs went out and they didnít have anything, so I really shouldnít have much to complain about, but it was still cold. Mel and Kt were stuck in the house with me, and they werenít saying anything, but Iím the Daddy, Iím supposed to take care of these kinds of things. Finally about mid day we got it running again, but by then the thought of going outside and playing in it had lost its allure. Me I just wanted to stay warm.
While all these fiascos were going on I got to remembering something. Some of us older folks remember when it happened years ago. Back about 72, or 73, we had an ice storm just about as bad or worse. That one started on a Sunday night, and by Monday morning everything was froze solid, and the power was long gone. Like I said earlier the folks didnít have a fireplace, so we bundled up and moved over to Granddaddyís, he had an oil heater, the old kind that sat in the middle of the living room. My buddy WH was staying with us at the time, and to be honest, we had a blast.
Playing outside and now that Momís gone I can tell it, playing poker with matchsticks on the inside. We were out of school for a week, one of the best weeks of my life. Then just a week later, it snowed, and we were out of school again. It sure was nice back then not having a care in the world.
Like trying to keep the family warm, but back then Daddy was doing all the worrying, and keeping it to him self. He must have taught me pretty well.
You may reach Robbin Bruce by e-mail at email@example.com.