Friday, January 8, 2010


It’s about 11:30 at night, Roger and I have just finished watching the last disc of “The Mentalist” that we rented from Netflix. We don’t usually stay up this late, but it is going to be bitter cold tomorrow the roads and our drive have pretty much re-drifted shut, so, what the hey; we decide to do the marathon thing and finish the season, and call it good.

As we each throw back our perspective fleece blankets that we have been snuggled under and get to our feet and head upstairs, I notice the air in the house feels anything but warm.
Rog heads for the shower while I let the dog out for one last time, and turn off lights, etc. “The air in here feels really cool.” I think to myself, as I hear the shower running. I let the dog in, put her in her crate, and turn off the lights heading for the bedroom. I decide to just check the thermostat and see exactly what the air temp in the house is, surmising that because it is -10 outside with winds out of the NW making the wind chill well below 0 maybe it just can’t keep up??!?! The thermostat is set at 69 degrees, so why is the house ONLY 60 DEGREES!!!!! This is NOT a good night to have the furnace go out!

I go into the bathroom and ask Rog why the thermostat is set at 69, but the house is only 60; why would that be? He says he isn’t sure and keeps showering. As I head back to look again, just to make sure I saw correctly, I hear him say in a rather elevated tone, “AH-OH!! I know what it is! Look outside and see if the exhaust for the furnace is buried under a snowdrift?” I don’t have to look because I already know the answer. It is!!

So that is why at 11:45 at night I donned my coveralls, boots, and fleece, hat, scarf, and gloves and grabbed the snow shovel and headed out into the dark. I began to dig. It didn’t take long to find a large hole under the snow surrounding the exhaust pipe for the furnace, but the snow bank kept caving in about as fast as I dug it out. I kept digging. Almost immediately the furnace kicked on, and the exhaust began pouring out of the pipe and the hole I was making. I looked up just as Rog, in his coveralls, hoodie, and gloves came out the back door.

It was well after midnight by the time we got back in the house and the furnace was running. By the time I got into my jammies, and was ready to crawl into bed, it was 62 degrees in the house. I asked Rog what made him think of that; the exhaust being covered? He related an incident a few years back (that I had forgotten) where a new house that he had built, that the folks only used as a vacation get away, had the same thing happen. The exhause pipes got buried in snow,the furnace eventually shut down, and the house got so cold the water pipes froze and broke, flooding the house, ruining the wood floors, and just about everything else.

As soon as he finished the story we looked at each other realizing the bullet we had dodged. While we were in Phoenix over Christmas and “the blizzard of ‘09” blew through, and the snow had blown and drifted, how easily it could have drifted over that pipe while we were gone, shutting down our furnace, causing the pipes to freeze and break, with us coming home to a HUGE mess.

But it didn’t happen. It happened when we WERE home, and stayed up later than we EVER do. It happened that I DID check the thermostat before going to bed, instead of just going to bed.

I don’t believe in coincidence. Roger and I both know that we were so blessed to have been home, checked the thermostat and knew what to do. Our furnace reset itself, and is running fine.

I’m more thankful for a nice warm house today than I think I ever have been before!