I should have seen the handwriting on the wall last year, and a few years before that, and a few years before that, when my furnace balked during the coldest night of the year (I am still astonished how that happened, almost as if it waited for just such a night) and each time it cost me some $700 to have it repaired. It was that, or cough up money I didn't have for a brand new furnace. Not that I have such money just waiting in a drawer right now.
Guess what - it happened again last night. I went to bed nice and toasty and since I sleep with a feather blanket on top of a quilt, I was quite comfy although I did notice a few times in the middle of the night that my nose seemed cold. But hey, it was way below zero wind chill wise last night, with constant winds pounding the house from the north/northwest. I expected it to be cold.
So I didn't think too much of it when the house seemed to be creaking and groaning more than usual early this morning. And then the alarm blasted off at 6 a.m. and I stuck my arms out from under the blankets and brrrrrrr! It was fricking cold in the house! As if on cue, I heard a beam somewhere in the attic make an ominous snap-crackle-pop sound and I bounded out of bed and ran downstairs to check the thermostat. Sure enough. Sometime during the night or wee hours of the morning, the furnace gave up the ghost. It was 50 degrees F in the house. The windchill was 20 below zero outside.
So, who the hell do you call at 6 in the morning - come fix my furnace? I scrambled around getting dressed and started the fireplace going in the living room to for at least some heat in the place, and pulled out the local newspaper. As I shivered over my coffee, I fixed upon a contractor and called. It was too much to expect to get a live person at 6:20 a.m. on a Monday morning. I left a message. It took awhile, but a repairman did arrive at my door about 8:40 a.m.
He was able to get my 21 year old Carrier (that has given me trouble since day one) going again, and the house was warm when I got home tonight, and the furnace is still working because it has been cycling per usual, and it is now 10:46 p.m. But enough is enough. I was probably pushing my luck with that furnace at 15; now at 21 it's time and past. So, CHA-CHING, a new furnace goes in tomorrow. That I will get a $900 credit on my income taxes for it does not lesson the considerable pain of an expenditure I had hoped to postpone until summer of 2011. Perhaps five years from now I will be more comforted by the fact that it is a 95% efficient and dual action something-or-other that promises to save me loads of money on my gas bill each season. (Yeah, right). For $200 less I could have gotten a new furance similar to the one I have now. Only 200 lousy bucks? NO THANKS.
While I was frantically wondering how the hell I'm going to pay for a new furnace, my 24 year old refrigerator gave one mighty chugging heave and died. The compressor finally expired. Yep, I knew it was coming. The fridge has been making strange glug-glugging noises of increasing scale for over a year now. I just didn't expect it to die on the same day as the damn furnace! What next, I thought - will my 24 year old gas stove explode and put me out of my misery? So when the doorbell rings and the furnace man shows up, I'm packing the contents of my fridge into boxes to stash into the ice-cold garage.
Tonight after work (yes, I ran to work after the furnace man left at 9:30 a.m. - and on the ice-glazed streets of my subdivision and the non-salted sidewalks, it was quite an adventure getting to the bus stop nearly a mile away in the relatively balmy temperature of 10 below zero F), my friend Ann and I went appliance shopping. While the contents of my deceased fridge are resting in the garage in various states of dress (I don't want my milk to freeze, for instance) tucked inside several boxes, I have to wait until Saturday for delivery of a new fridge and a new gas stove. No matter how I pleaded and even attempted a bribe, delivery could not be made tomorrow, when I will be home during furnace installation. I did not want to push my luck and take another day off on Wednesday, the earliest possible delivery date, claiming a deceased fridge as an excuse, even though it's the damn truth! LOL!
Can you imagine? Geez. I emailed Ann tonight that I hope I don't wake with an icicle hanging from my nose in the morning.