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Thursday, December 28, 2017

So it wasn't a bank robbery, just weather.

Today is Thursday, and as you can tell by this graph, it's rather chilly here at hex central, under the sign of the Fussing Duck.
To be truthful, this prediction is a bit off... as I was sitting at my desk this morning, before dawn, I checked the remote-reading thermometer and it said -17F. It was predicted to bottom out at -11, but in the end, neither of those numbers was correct, as it fell to -20 just before sunrise. Yeah, BRRRR!

I had planned a day in town, to finally meet up with online friend and fellow blogger Crystal Sands who was doing a reading from the book of poems for kids penned by her talented hubby and illustrated by their equally talented son. Tag-teamed with that bit of fun was a necessary run for feed and kerosene, the last of which was loaded into the "spare" heater this morning, to take the chill off the unheated bedroom and bathroom. Unheated, in this case, meant the cats' water was frozen in their bowl, in the bathroom, when we went to bed. It was frozen again this morning. Not surprising as the room temp -- surveyed by a digital thermometer I hauled along when I headed to bed last night -- was 35F.

Yeah, it did need a bit of a warm up... but thus far I am pleased to report that, by leaving serious drips going on all the faucets, we still have running water, hot and cold.

What we did not have when we got up this morning, was a working propane wall heater. You know the one... it's attached to the living room wall and it's sole fuction is to keep the place warm enough, overnight, so that it doesn't freeze. Well, it didn't freeze, thankfully, didn't even approach the bedroom's overnight low, but it did need to be dealt with. Fortunately, when we previously swapped what we thought was an empty big tank for a full one, we did so in error. The problem had not been lack of fuel, but lack of flow. The pilot needed addtional link and beast hair removed by proper application of canned air, and ran just fine after first refusing to acknowledge that the canister we had just filled, and knew to be full, indeed was full. So we were able to swap the empty for a partial, getting the heater back on line and buying us some time. With the addition of some more kero, we could put off the big propane fill for a day, thankfully.

The driveway was, as of this morning, still filled with snow. While it is not hard to drag an empty large propane tank down a 200' long driveway over/through the snow, pulling it back UP again -- even though the rise is slight -- is another matter, and one left for its own day.

I was lucky to have Artie start right up...kudos to a 27 year old truck, on a day when my mechanic had spent the morning responding to "won't start" calls. After several trips down to the truck with sled loads of fuel containers, I headed off to get the winter tires put on and then headed to town.

Of the many errands on my list, one was to stop at the bank to pick up cash which I will need this weekend. I was making good progress, so I made my quick run through the grocery store, then figured I'd hit the bank, gas station and feed store and end up at the library just in time for the reading.

Oops... think again. When I got to the bank, which shares a building with several other businesses, there were alarms sounding all over and many folks standing around outside. The front door of the building was open, so I went in, only to discover that the doors to the foyer, from which one entered the bank, were locked tight and no on could be seen inside.  Being on a schedule, I decided to head off to get gas and while pumping I heard sirens responding to that direction.

Hummmm... I was, by this time, almost late to the start of the reading, so should I try to get there or go check out the bank? I realized I had no camera with which to capture any action, and went to the library, had a great time finally meeting Crystal and her family in person, and then headed by to complete my errands. Turns out the problem was not a robbery, but a broken water pipe. It seems any issues like that set off all the alarms and when the alarms go off -- even for cold weather problems or "acts of God" -- security measures go into effect. The tellers were glad that it was just water, which had been restored.

And I got back home, all errands complete, to discover that my mechanic had done a good deed and plowed us out! Not only did I not have to haul several sled-loads of fuel, food and feed up to the house in what is currently -5F with a wind, but we will be able to load and unload the big propane tank about 10 feet from where it needs to go.

And there is wine, and Epsom salts in the house, running water for a nice hot bath and "feel good" meal of creamed dried beef on toast and a green salad in the offing.  It may be going to be the coldest week on record in Bangor for 40 years, but life is good.