Here in the forest, the difference between being warm and being miserable depends on the state of the pellet stove. If I run out of pellets, brrr. And if one little wire decides to short out one little fuse, I have to put on my long underwear and ski jacket just to be warm. In fact, these days it’s warmer outside than in.
It happened on a Sunday, of course, and in the winter, when the area’s one guy qualified to fix these things is booked solid. Turn up the thermostat. Nothing. Push the reset button. Nothing. Play with the plug. Nothing. The stove was cold and so was I. The little electric heater barely warmed a square foot right in front of it. The cold laughed at its puny efforts. I cursed. I thought about moving to a house with a real heater. I daydreamed about warm air coming through vents at the flick of a switch.
I dreaded having the stove guy out, not just for the expense and disruption of my day but for the lectures he inflicts on his customers. On and on. “Now, Sue, take a look at this. . . ” I know. Just fix it.
It was the worth the lecture to have him come out this morning and fix the stove before the walls started to mold. He rearranged his schedule and gave me the “poor woman living alone” discount (not that he said so, but I can read). Now a yellow-orange flame burns hotly in the newly cleaned window as the fan pours out heat. Annie the dog and I jostle for space in front of the stove. Ahh, warm again.