"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Monday, March 3, 2014

An Empty Tank at 9 Degrees


 This was the day I thought I would get up and head back to the farm.  When I woke up I noticed that it had snowed more during the night and the streets and yards were a pristine white. Perfect for sledding or looking for animal tracks. (Apparently one small bird had been walking patrol outside my sliding glass door, judging by the tracks.)
      Able called and his voice sounded horrible. I said I would open the shop and run it for awhile so he could go to the doctor for antibiotics. Since I didn't have a snow shovel I tried sweeping the snow off the walk in front of the shop and, while trying to break up the under-snow I managed to break the shop broom. Not a great start to the day but there was a certain camaraderie in being out there shoveling (sweeping) with all the people from every shop on the street.  Small business basics. We were all yelling greetings back and forth across the snowy street.
      After working until two o'clock I was ready to head homeward but Zane had called and asked me to stop by to play for a bit on my way out of town.  When I pulled into their driveway I realized I had forgotten my purse a the shop, which meant I would have to drive back south before heading north. Oh, never mind. We played and made oatmeal cookies, kissed and hugged and then I went back to the shop, helped Able finish jarring the Saffron, took the bills to the post office (so last minute that I handed them to the postman who was emptying the outside boxes!) and started north once more.
     I really wanted to stop by Abbey's too, to see the kids and Abb and give E some special hugs because he's been under the weather for a couple of days. But I knew if I stopped I probably wouldn't get home before dark and something was urging me on.
I sped up the highway and drove into my driveway just as the sun was setting. Perfect timing....so I thought.
     When I stepped inside the door I smelled propane and noticed that it was absolutely freezing in the house. The thermometer on the wall said fifty degrees.  I tried a burner: nothing. I traipsed out to the propane tank and checked the gauge: zilch.  Oh my stars and garters, I was slap out of propane and it was 9 degrees outside.  My first thought was "did I forget to pay the bill?". No, I hadn't forgotten and my propane guy would never let me go cold in the winter whether or not I had paid on time. He's that good of a guy and I am very grateful to have him.
     I called and he said he had run out of propane in his truck the other day when he was filling the tank across the road and had just never made it back.  So sorry. He had to meet with a family about a funeral he was preaching on Wednesday (yes, he is also a minister) but would bring me some fuel after. In the mean time I turned on a space heater, kept my coat and scarf on and snuggled under a quilt and the fleece panda blanket. Brrrrrr! I set the faucets to dripping in the hopes that nothing would freeze.
     Jimmy (the propane guy) finally made it out, put some fuel in the tank and relit all the pilot lights for me.  It took two more hours to get the house warmed back up to the point that I could take off the blankets, time I spent watching an old WWII submarine movie in black and white.
     I'm glad I heeded the urging, earlier in the afternoon, to get on up the highway. I am pretty sure pipes would have frozen over night if I hadn't come home in time to get hold of someone to bring out some heating fuel. It pays to follow those nudges.  I'm trying to do a better job of going where the current leads.  I'm nice and warm now, full of Sleepytime herbal tea and I have warmed up the electric blanket in preparation for crawling into bed.
    It's always good to be in the city, sharing parts of the days with my children and their children but it's also good to be back at the farm, basking in the beauty of creation.  I have it trimmed to a nice balance now and I enjoy both places.  I find I enjoy working at the shop so much more when I can be there for part of the day instead of the entire day. My feet are happier.  Ta Ta For Now. Take care and stay warm on these frosty nights.

1 comment:

Brenda Cohorn said...

I read your tweet and am so glad to hear you got the propane before pipes froze. Country living! Always fun! So glad you are warm.