Saturday, March 03, 2007

In which our heroine and her paramour are slow on the uptake

In recent weeks, perhaps months I have been colder than I remember ever being. Being my mother's daughter I was quick to pose a collapsing thyroid as the reason, or worse I was becoming a true Bay Area resident who thought 60 degrees is quite chilly requiring that one pulls out the woolens. Truthfully I would rather have a kaput thyroid. I remember clear as day visiting San Francisco in late May 2001 and laughing at people wearing parkas while I had a short-sleeved shirt quite comfortable with the temperature.

A bit ago we both determined the thermostat was acting funny. We would turn up the heat, finally giving in to the chill and willing to throw money out the many, many leaks of Casa de Cedar. Sometimes it would cause the furnace to rumble, sometimes not. We survived, throwing a second of layer of socks in my case or another oversize sweatshirt in hers. Last Thursday I had reached a frustration point that ended with contacting our landlord, Her Holiness of Patience, writing her that the thermostat probably needed to be replaced.

Saturday night after not hearing from her handyperson we noted that when the furnace did shimmy it blew cool air. Hm, seems like a furnace issue not a thermostat. Both of us took turns looking around at the furnace thinking that we could see if the pilot light was out. Did not notice any flickering. Dutifully PG&E was called and said they would be here Tuesday between 1pm - 5pm. It was after 8pm Saturday, the rains had begun again and the chill deepened. Giving into the cold we braved the rains in search of a space heater to take the icicles off our bedroom ceiling. First we went to Target the holy grail of bargain shopping - we always go for about twenty dollars worth of stuff but the register person always asks for more like eighty. "Oh, that's a seasonal item. We stopped stocking that about two months ago." Excuse me! Winter is over? There is a single cold season in this place? Really. People head over the hills to got some warmth during the season called "fogust", which in the summer. We decide Target has lost their ever lovin' minds and headed to Home Despot...where we were told the same thing. However their staff actually gave us useful information and we head to W*lgreens, easily locating a small space heater for twenty bucks. Ah, so sweet, something like warmth.

Tuesday rolls around and PG&E says, "I see the problem. The igniter is shot. We don't do repairs." Apparently this furnace doesn't have a pilot light. Go figure. I know about the old fashioned east coast kind that require an oil tank and how to replace the innards of a toilet tank. Heating, not my thing. Also, the filter he says is dirty but it's the type you clean not replace. Oh, okay.

Now it's Thursday and Jim the repair guy shows up, the job takes about all of 20 minutes which includes me taking the filter out back and hosing it clean. Damn that thing was gross. Jim is good-natured, shows me how to take off the cover, how to take the filter out - all that good stuff. Jennie just wrote about the price of repairs. Well this little job was $65 for the new igniter and $122.50 for the pleasure of his company.

Gleefully and with wild abandon we turned up the thermostat to about 68F degrees which it a tropical setting in this place. Suddenly there was the smell, feel, and sound of heat strumming through the house. I was positively giddy, feeling warmer than I had in longer than I could remember. Assessing things, reviewing our sense memories it was clear that we had been without heat for a good two weeks, give or take a few days.

Yes, I realize that we are in an area where it generally doesn't get all that cold (disregarding the absolutely record setting January where the kittens piled on me while TGF was in Ohio) and it all could have been far, far worse. However the deadening wet, damp cold that clung to our walls, our bedding, that burrowed into my bones to the point where some actually hurt, it was still bad.

Now I am left with an embarrassed look on my face because I worked so hard to maintain my stiff upper lip about all this, because of being raised in one hundred and twenty year old house that my parents couldn't afford to heat I just kept putting a layer on, never stopping to assess the truth of the situation. Okay it's true I bitched about being cold. A lot. But I am so not accustomed to feeling as cold as I have been the last few months. I have always been a bit of a little furnace myself. It is supposed to be about 70F degrees this weekend. Of course it is, now that I don't need it to be. I will enjoy the heat from outside, and not worry when the rains come back that I will never be warm again because my furnace? She works!


heather said...

heh. glad you got all that sorted out.

sposed to be warm today but that doesn't mean it's not chilly in the house right now!

Bitter Betty said...

Trust me, you do not want a kaput thyroid. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Andrea said...

the money you spent for the furnace repair should be taken out of the rent or reimbursed from your landlord, unless of course you're being nice.