Saturday, January 11, 2014

It Warmed My Heart

When the the temperature plummets to break  hundred year records , we head north. Since Marianne's pipes were frozen on the third and fourth floor of her house, we were in a real pickle. You see, the baths and toilets are all up there.  It's a sinking feeling when the furnace is constantly going and the house temperature is falling.  It wasn't your usual cold snap, it was the Witch Of January come early.  Ten degrees below zero and gale winds are a bit much even for that tropical paradise known as Western Pennsylvania.

I gave them an extra Kero Sun I had when we moved to a place more compatible with civilization.  They had the Omni 105 which is the big brother to the Omni 15 we had in Utah and Maryland (23,000 BTUs vs 1,100 BTUs).  After about 12 hours it warmed the house up like the Reptile Exhibit and the pipes finally thawed.  It didn't help that the pipes ran along an exterior wall facing the wind.  I sold my little Kero Sun when we moved to N.C. I should have kept it, because the hot water pipes on the water heater that's above the garage at our house froze.  It would have taken nothing less that a kerosene heater to heat up a well ventilated attic at minus five degrees.  So I turned up the house heat and and shut off the water and fled to the minus 15 degrees of Mercer County PA, knowing that the only severe winter weather plan in NC is to pray for sunshine.  The government won"t mind if you freeze to death.

That smell of kerosene heat in the morning brought back more memories than a lasagna in the oven.  I know people think they are dangerous and perhaps people are too stupid now to use them safely but for emergencies they can't be beat.  Somehow we survived using them in the era prior to carbon monoxide detectors.  I found a used Omni 15 on Ebay and feel like getting it just for sentimental reasons, or to have people say "what's that?" when they visit.  I know one thing, not taking a shower for three days and having to carry a bucket of water up the stairs to flush the toilet is no way to live.

I can't believe I sold this little beauty.


Aunt Dot said...

Babba, I'm thinking you haven't made too many mistakes, but this might just be one of them :-). Still, I know you are enjoying Giovanna!

Babba-Gi said...

At my age the need to feel needed outweighs the need for heat.

jd said...

After this winter in Hampton Roads, I will be investing in a Ker-o-sun, proper snow shovels and a good 25lb bag of salt. Even after insulating most of the rest of the house I'm giving the gas company $180 this month. Houses in this region don't get along with temps in the 0's and 10's.

D- said...

Dave and MA need to either move or invest in insulation throughout that "wonderful" old structure. I know its not a cheap deal but it certainly helped us when we lived on Fairview avenue. We blew it in the walls and insulated the ceilings... what a difference!