Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Brrr... a.k.a. I love my life.

This is a story about how amazing yesterday was. Get ready.

Lets start this off with a quick announcement. The temperature was -15 degrees. This does not include the wind chill. For those of you who live in a land that God remembered with sunshine, the wind chill is how cold the air feels on your skin. In Fargo, this can range down to -50 or more. I bet some of you didn't know the air temperature goes that low. Freezing happens at 32 degrees, then you get to zero, then you get to go below that zero. Last year we got to 3o below without the wind chill. I'm sure it's still coming this winter. Joy.

So... my car's blower fan is broken, thus no heat or defroster. It's ungodly cold in Fargo. There is frost hardened on the INSIDE of my car windows. I can't scrape it off. There's a hole in the windshield's frost about a food wide that I can use that to see out of on my way to school. Following so far? Good.

While backing out of the driveway I roll down the passenger window so I can see if any traffic is coming. This will be the last time the top of the window touches the door frame that day. Just wait, it continues to get better.

After class I have some obligations that last until about eleven o'clock pm. My days usually last about fourteen hours before I get any time to relax. But back to yesterday. I get a text from my roommate that says, "why is the house so cold". I don't know why at this point, but I already know that it is very bad, will be expensive, and will make me want to burn down the house and flee the country. My other roommate texts me that "the house is 43 degrees". This is so not good. I want to gather myself into the fetal position and cry.

I go home and find that the oil tanks, although clearly stating that they contain just under 1/8th of their capacity, have decided to become empty. At that point the furnace says "screw this, I'm done" and takes a nice nap.

Cut to the pipes freezing over.

I set my alarm for the EXACT time when the oil company will begin taking phone calls, say a little prayer for the pipes not to burst, then layer on a parka and two extra comforters and go to bed. Shivering, lots of shivering.

7am. Phone call happens about five seconds after the alarm starts. The oil guy will be over at 9:30. The house is 36 degrees. Awesome. By the time he arrives the house is at 35 degrees. He comes inside, checks things out a bit, then pumps in 300 gallons of oil (the two tanks hold 550) and starts up the furnace again. I pay the nice man ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. I didn't even get the tanks filled up all the way. I'll probably have to get them filled again in March.

It's 2am the next day and the water still isn't running. I'm still hoping the pipes are thawing and the water will magically turn on my the morning. I know, fat chance, but I really don't want to have to fork over more money on a plumber.

Lesson learned: Don't purchase real estate north of the Mason-Dixon line. could be worse though. Two blocks away a homeless guy was found dead in front of the Cathedral's bishop's house. Apparently he had stopped by there a few times before and asked for help. This time the bishop wasn't home and he must have fallen down and froze to death. The mail carrier found him. I guess things could be worse for me huh? Puts things in perspective.


Jayne said...

Poor Nate! You know, that offer to adopt you is still open, and my house is a relatively toasty 60 degrees. Still plenty of awesome woodwork to be stripped, too. I've been complaining about the cold here, & we're in the mid-30s, so I'm gonna shut up now.

Jen said...

YIKES one thousand dollars.....maybe things will get better..:)

Britta Trygstad said...

Oh my Nathan... I think that's my worse Midwest nightmare. Any thoughts on converting your house to gas? Oil freaks me out a bit, specially the big machine-like thing in the basement.

Sandy said...

Oh dear. Nate, I am so sorry. And I do know what -55ยบ (includes wind chill) is like (I live in Michigan). You just want to find a place to curl up in and totally hibernate until winter is done!

kelli.griffis said...

Gosh Nate! That makes Iowa seem down right balmy! Sending you toasty warm vibes from down south. ;-)

We are in said...

I'm making a mental note to stop whining about Pittsburgh winters. So sad about the poor homeless guy - what a rotten way to go.

Jennifer said...

I'll join you in that fetal curl... it's SO COLD!
When it freezes, it REALLY freezes. SIgh. I hope the rest of your week goes better.

Erika & Joel said...

Oh Nathan! I FEEL YOUR PAIN. The blower fan in the tempo stopped working three months ago and I HATE to put money into that car, so Joel drives it with the window down AND the furnace in our house went out on Sunday night before MLK Jr. day! Yay for homeownership - I closed on our house two hours ago today... Good luck with everything!