Life in the northeast is fun from time to time in the winter. The last few days we've been in the depths of a bone chilling cold snap. Yesterday morning I believe it just went to -3F. However that was cold enough to 'freeze' our fuel oil in the exposed line. If you're not familiar with this lovely event, it's not exactly as it sounds. The fuel oil doesn't freeze solid. Its more of a gelling effect which makes it hard to draw into the furnace to provide heat. It took a couple of phone calls to Joe until he stoped panicking and listened to what I was saying. All he had to do was take the cover off the furnace and hit a red button to reset the furnace. Luckily that's all it took. At lunch I went and purchased items to insulate our line further, but didn't do it last night because it was dark when I got home.
This morning the temp was a balmy -8F. I heard our furnace go on gasping for the few bits of thickened fuel oil that it could suck in. Our furnace is off our kitchen so I heard this well. After that event I turned the thermostat up to heat a bit more as I was still chilly. Guess what. It had shut down, the line had frozen again. Lovely. Nothing was going to work as the sun wasn't up yet and I had to go to work. My mom stopped by and then went to Home Depot to pick up 2 heating wire kits... one for me and one for her as she had the same exact thing happen to her yesterday. She came back to the office and dropped them off and attempted to leave.
And then came back in. Something was wrong and her steering column locked up more solid then the ice that won't leave us. 5 people (her and I included) did our best to get the wheel to turn and thus her key to start the car. No go. So AAA was called and a tow truck came. At this point Joe was well aware of what was going on.. this is a key point in today's story. Her car was towed to the garage of choice and I picked her up from there and took her home. All the while the 2 of us are fully aware that my house is getting colder and colder and the chinchillas and Peanut were getting colder as well. I finally got home near 1:00pm and the house was all of 46F. I said a quick prayer and pressed the aforementioned red button to reset the furnace. Thankfully it started and soon heat was coming into the rooms. At the same time I had started a strong fire in the woodstove which was helping as well.
Joe called to see what was going on. I told him I had just got home and was taking off my coat. His first concern?:
"Did you go grocery shopping and to pick up more ham for me?"
I then asked if he was insane. Grocery shopping vs. Heat in the house. Which do you think was more of a priority. He had the good graces to laugh and apologize and wisely admit that he should pick it up on the way home, lol.