I woke up this morning and noticed that I was cold. Not just Oh, I feel chilled. I’ll just have a cup of coffee and I’ll be fine type cold.
No, this is grab my fleece bathrobe, wool socks, and find out what’s going on.
I keep my thermostat set at 69 degrees. I would love to keep it at a higher setting, but money frugality and environmental compassion dictates 69.
But, this morning, even though I was being environmentally compassionate, my heater was being environmentally broken.
And we are about to have another major freeze with a massive storm on the way.
The unit’s fans were spinning, but no air was emitting from the vents. And heat? Nada.
I went upstairs and woke up my husband.
“The house is 57 degrees,” I told him as opposed to something more pleasant like Good morning, darling. If you would be so inclined, the house’s heater isn’t working and, if you don’t mind, would you kindly examine it for a moment?
Sweet and delicate, I am not.
A few cuss words and Pat was down stairs, zipping up his jacket and putting on his own wool socks before braving the cold.
I put on a pot of coffee, turned on the computer, checked my wordpress stats. Pat came back in, rubbing his hands together for warmth.
“The heater’s blown,” he said, going into the kitchen and pouring himself a cup of coffee. “Can you look for parts’ dealers?”
Good-bye WordPress and Facebook. Hello Google.
I could find at least three to four parts dealers in a hundred mile radius of my home that sell the parts for my specific unit.
And all of the dealers are closed on Saturdays.
Other HVAC parts dealers exist in the city; however, in order to buy anything, we are supposed to be contractors. And these other stores are closed on Saturdays too.
By this point, the house has dropped at least another degree and my internal sense of desperation is growing and I feel stymied by my inability to solve the problem.
Finally, after two hours of searching and re-searching and trying different combinations of keywords and lots of prayer and impatience, I find a dealer that is actually open.
Naturally, the computer doesn’t want to print the directions. Naturally, things are just going slower than I could possibly imagine. Naturally, things are going just kind of wrong.
But Pat and I find the HVAC part dealer store place and we go inside, filled with hope and the sense that maybe everything’s going to be just fine.
But everything’s not just fine. Because we have an ABC plug thingamajiggy on the side of our blower mother thingamajiggy that none of the other motors have. And although my husband can be quite the genius at most things, he is not the HVAC genius which means that we are at another quandary.
We can find motors with similar sizes and similar shafts and similar parts, but they don’t have this ABC plug thing which is apparently really important because the other motors have extra wires on them that Pat doesn’t recognize and, naturally, the “instructions” that come with the motors don’t have a wiring guide to help Pat know what the wires are supposed to do.
Other than electrocute him.
Thankfully, the men at the store were even more genius than Pat and explained what he needed to do and how to handle the extra wires and what to do with the ABC plug deficiency.
So, about a hundred dollars later, Pat and I walked out of the store with a new motor and a new compressor. Note, every time someone said the word “compressor,” I kept on having Back to the Future flashbacks.
It was kind of fun.
A pit stop at Lowes and Chik-Fil-A later, and we were home with lunch and heat for everyone.
And then, I went into Pat’s shed where the gutted heater blower was waiting for us.
Pat asked me to come with him and sit with him. Because he was worried about an emergency happening and he might be hurt.
Which is kind of sweet because he had done everything he could to ensure that nothing would happen including unplugging the unit and turning the power off to the unit (as in turning off the power at the breaker box).
He was safe. But he needed me to care for him. Just like I needed him to care for me.
So I bundled up, grabbed a book, and sat in the shed, the Pat-Cave, and read Wolf Hall, and even handed him a tool when he asked for it.
It took a couple of hours and even a phone call of desperation. I kept on being sent inside to reset the breaker switch (doing this while talking to Pat on the phone) and listening to horrible crackling sounds as the heater didn’t work and the house dropped at least another degrees or two.
Pat kept on playing with wires and this-its and thats-its and, eventually, the wiring worked and the motor spun and heat suddenly started pouring into the house.
Today, Pat and I were going to run away to visit my nephew. We were going to enjoy some quiet time together. Instead, we went to an HVAC parts store where two lovely men sold us a motor even though we weren’t contractors and they usually didn’t sell to the average house owner.
But they sold to us because my husband sounded like he knew what he was talking about. And because of a nasty storm that was about to hit in forty-eight hours.
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. And I have no plans. None. Zip.
Not because I am anti-Valentine’s Day…which I sort of am.
But because I love my husband. And he loves me. And we show this to one another by taking care of one another on a daily basis. Like the fact that he disembowled out heater even though he really didn’t know what he was doing and I sat in his shed with him, even though he was perfectly safe. And we didn’t question one another. Instead, we walked in concentric circles, shadowing one another without thought, without question.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I will not receive any jewelry. I will not go out for a special dinner. I will not receive any flowers or cards or candy.
I will, instead, be sitting in my home, warm.