Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Last night, after we got home from Joey's fantastically exciting basketball game victory, we discovered that our furnace had taken a dump. The house was a cool 62 degrees and it wasn't going to be getting any warmer outside. It was close to the kids' bedtime so I went about piling their beds with extra blankets and making sure they all had on their warmest jammies and socks while Todd futzed with the furnace and contacted a repairman. The temperature outside was suppose to drop dramatically and I knew we'd have to do everything we could to stay warm.

It was a chilly night's sleep and Todd and I awoke earlier than normal this morning to discover that it was 54 degrees in the house. Brr. Getting out of bed in the morning is hard enough for me, the frigid house did not help.  Luckily, Todd was able to get a hold of our furnace repairman the prior night and he was sending someone over first thing in the morning. By 7 o'clock the repairman was inspecting the furnace. By 8 the problem was discovered (broken motor).

I got the kids off to school and then met up with them again a few minutes later at Ash Wednesday mass. I love how excited my kids are to come and sit with me during mass. It is a special treat. Joey couldn't sit with me this time because he had his 4K partner with him (the older kids mentor the little kids and are responsible for them during masses). When mass was over I went over to say "hi" to Joe and noticed his face was very pale and he wasn't smiling. Joey's teacher told me he has been feeling really sick all morning. I asked Joe if he wanted to come home with me and he nodded his head. We went back to school, picked up his homework, and went back to our chilly house.

The furnace repairmen had found a temporary motor replacement for our furnace (it is too small but will work okay until they find the right size) and was busy installing it while I started a fire in the fireplace. Just when I got a nice roaring fire in the fireplace the furnace kicked it. Hallelujah!

Joey got on his warmest comfy clothes and writhed in crampy stomach pain in front of the fire for the remainder of the morning. By the time I had to run and pick up Grace from school Joey was feeling slightly better. He was even able to eat a little lunch with his sister, who was so excited to have him all to herself.

The temperature in the house is now up to 64 degrees, well on its way to normal and much more comfortable. Soon I will venture back out into the cold to take Grace to ballet class, but when I return it will be to a nice, warm house.

I am so grateful.

All I could think about all last night and this morning is how lucky we are. How many people have to worry about how they will heat their homes on a regular basis? How many people worry about how to keep their children warm at night? How many people would struggle and fret over how to repair a furnace when they are already financially strapped?

It is so easy to take what we have for granted. We get so used to our lives that we forget just how much we have. Even the most basic things are so often overlooked. Yes, it is difficult to get out of bed in the morning but I can get out without pain. I can run. I can jump. I can play with my kids. And yes, it is so cold outside that the air stings my nose as I breath in, but my lungs are healthy and strong and filled with clean air. Sure, Joey has a sick stomach today but my kids are so healthy that in the last two years, between all four of my kids, there have only been 3 days of missed school.

We are so lucky. There is so much to be thankful for. Grateful for.

Just one night without heat was a reminder to me to live with a grateful heart.

It is kind of funny how this happened at the beginning of Lent. This eye opening. This reminder. This focusing.

It was just what I needed to help me focus these next 40 days on what is really important and how much I have to be grateful for.


Bijoux said...

The times when we lost power during's just shocking how cold your house can get! I'm glad the furnace guy was able to get there so quickly!

betty said...

Of course the furnace never gives warning that it is going to go and always seems to break during the coldest times.

Hope Joey feels better soon!

Good focus on how blessed we are, because truly we are :)


Tabor said...

Now you have me super worried about my house up in that cold and snowy storm that I left behind. I had turned the furnace down to 58 so that we would not have to pay for a warm house and not be there, but I worry about our pipes freezing. We did not make arrangements for anyone to check the house!!!

Kat said...

Tabor- We leave our cabin up north set at 55 degrees when we are not there and the pipes never freeze. And that is in frozen northern WI. I think your house will be a-okay. You have it set at a smart temp.

Jamie said...

Thank you for the reminder of what is really important. It's so very easy to forget.

Hilary said...

It's those relatively minor inconveniences that serve so well to remind us how very lucky we truly are. I'm not surprised that you looked at it that way.

I hope your sweet boy is on the road to recovery now.

Elaine A. said...

I am SUCH a wimp, I would have been losing it if my house was 54 degrees! But you're right, you are blessed and so am I not to have to worry about that (or at least not for long).

Glad it was easily fixed.

Riahli said...

Beautifully said. Glad you got your heat back relatively quickly, it really does make you feel so grateful doesn't it!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson