Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I May Be Freezing...But I Can Blog!

I was on my computer, catching up on the things of the day when I hear a heater and the *ping* of the tv's power going off. I didn't realize the broad spectrum of what actually happened until a few minutes later.

We only have power in part of the kitchen, our computer and part of the downstairs. The refrigerator isn't working, but the oven is. The hot water should be working, because it's gas. Our furnace isn't working, but we usually heat with space heaters to save money so we all will have to sleep in the living room and block off the rest of the house if the power doesn't go on.

It doesn't look good. The fact that we still have some power means that it's not at the main. I flipped all the breakers, and still nothing in the rest of the house. That means that we have ONE heater for the entire upstairs. I'm tempted to use Princess' Dora potty seat that fits on the bigger toilet, as it's soft and much less cold. The only problem with that is I'm afraid my bottom would crack the plastic! At least now we'll know immediately when the bathroom's being occupied from the howl that will be emitted every time someone sits down on the arctic seat.

I called my husband again to let him know that the furnace wasn't working and found myself in tears while talking to him. I didn't plan that. He has this soothing way about him when I get upset, I swear he has a gift. When our daughter is crying and screaming and overtired while I'm holding her and she doesn't want to calm down to go to bed, all James has to do is hold her, talk softly and stroke her hair. She passes out almost instantly. So when I burst into tears, of course he consoled me, telling me that everything will be alright. I didn't want to cry at all, as he's at work and he doesn't need to be stressed about things at home. It did feel good, though. Relieved a little tension. I've been worrying about a lot lately.

We have two vans and a dead car in the driveway that we can't get rid of because we can't find the title. We are special, and should have our noses in the air, because we have "winter" and "summer" vans. A vehicle for every season!

The two vans both have things wrong with them. One has been having a hard time getting started because the cold was pulling the connection apart from the battery to the car. It also has an oil leak. It was free, so we've been very thankful for it! It still smells of peat moss from the previous owner, which is fun on warm days. The windows in the front don't roll down, and there's no air conditioning, but the heat works wonderfully. This is our "winter" van. We've been using it exclusively, when it runs.

Our "summer" van we bought last year, as we needed one that didn't have the problems that the other van does. The air conditioning stopped working after we got it, and filling it with freon didn't do the trick. Thankfully the windows roll down, so there is no worry of the driver passing out from heat exhaustion. I would feel a slight "bump" when I'd turn the wheel, but somehow James couldn't feel it until it got really bad. I was sure it was a cv joint, and we kept wanting to take it in to a mechanic, but kept feeling to wait. It kept getting worse and worse until it really felt unsafe to drive. We only took the chance when the "winter" van wouldn't start. Hey, the good thing about being stuck at home without transportation during the workday means it's easier for me to stick to our budget!

Last Sunday in church, one of our hometeachers gave a talk. During his talk I got the impression that we needed to ask him about a mechanic. The hometeachers were visiting that afternoon, and we found out about an honest mechanic that he recommends. James called the mechanic from work yesterday, and from what they discussed the guy recommended that James have the tires rotated first to see if that was the problem. I was pretty mad when he called and told me, because I had looked things up online and was positive it was the tie rod. I tried to be supportive and told him to do what he thought was best, but he knew I was upset. Well, he took the van to Walmart last night and had them check the tires. It turns out that the tires were too small and the steel belt was coming through on one of them. Needless to say, there was no "bump" on the way home. Yes, I did apologize to James for my attitude. So now I have a car that's safe to drive, and for some reason the heat kicked in as James was driving it home.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I could either blame Heavenly Father for the trials that we face, or thank Him for taking care of us. I would rather not have had to spend $400 on tires for the van when I know it still needs some more work done (and we had to put it on credit, but with no interest and it will be paid in May), and I would rather have more than one heater in my house and have my refrigerator working. However we could have taken the van to a mechanic who would have taken us for a ride, and we could have NO heat and NO oven and have to go to my sister's tiny house and drive her crazy.

So, I choose to be thankful. I can still cook for the family, we could probably hook up the refrigerator to an extension cord, I can drive somewhere if we need to go and be safe, and we'll have more family together time without the tv, and I have the internet! We do have the one heater working, and the lights work in the kitchen so we don't have to rely on candles. It's snowing heavily outside, the winds are blowing, it's 18 degrees outside with a 9 degree windchill, and we're at 63 degrees in here. Pretty balmy, considering. We can always hang blankets up to close off the rest of the house as the temperature drops, and we'll be snug as bugs. I just tested the lights and some of them work and flicker a bit, but the house is acting like it's not receiving enough power to power everything except on the few circuits. The lights in the laundry area work, so I'm crossing my fingers that I can do laundry.

I'm hoping that it's something to do with the amount of the electricity coming into the house, and not our house itself. If it's the wiring, we'll have to wait until we can afford to have it fixed. Until then, at least we can still cook and heat water!

I can't promise that I won't do any more complaining or crying, but right now, I choose to be thankful. It feels much, much better than whining.

The oven's on to help heat the house. Maybe I should go bake some cookies. No use wasting all that electricity!


Kimberly said...

Complain and cry away - I'm just glad you can still blog so you don't feel so trapped and alone there!

We're snowed in at the moment (only one of our cars can make it up the driveway and Neil has it), so huuuuge sympathies!

Dedee said...

Ouch. I feel your pain. Complaing to us for devious reasons--you complain to us, let it all out, and then keep quiet for your kids and they think you are this amazing mom for your endurance, no?

Maybe not, but it's a nice thought.

Rebecca said...

Kimberly, I hope you have plenty of books to read!

Dedee, you found me out. My kids think I'm the most patient mother in the world! *a-hem*. Not really. Now, when are you getting a blog so I can visit?

mindyluwho said...

It's so hard to stop and count your blessings in the middle of a bunch of trials! I love how you have been able to find them.

Brrrrr...I'll be thinking of you and hoping for your electricity to come on!

I'm so glad you can still blog!

mindyluwho said...

P.S. Here's Deedee's blog


She's an amazing person!

Michal said...

what a good example you are. i think you are right--being thankful feels better than complaining, even though it's easier to complain.
hope you have warmth and lights again soon. and tv. hope you have tv!

Mamita said...

When I married my husband, his car had no heat and in the winter it was aweful because we couldn't defrost the windows and the kids could see their breath while I'd be driving. It's kind of hard to drive with gloves on. I hated it and was so glad when it finally broke down completely. I remember how mad I got at my husband when he wasted $50 on a tow truck to bring it to a mechanic. I had to apologize later when the guy offered to just buy it from us for $600. Now OUR van has a hard time starting when it's cold like this and our newer car is starting to do the same...ugh. I also remember how cold it was when we lost power last month for most of the week. It was frustrating. At least you have your power back on now. Life can be annoying sometimes and it's always humbling to take the opposite approach and be thankful for what you still have and what still works.