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Gonna Be a Good Year

It’s been really cold this week. Consistently forty below with fifty and fifty five below in Circle and Fort Yukon. It’s been a good week to be home or close to home. Everything groans when it is this cold out. The house, the cars, the community all groan.

On Christmas Eve morning, we woke up to a colder than usual house, which always inspires mild panic. When temperatures are forty below and the heat stops working, it’s a bad thing. We’re talking way big bucks and a threat to our personal safety. It makes me think about what backups we have in place, and we never have enough.

Turns out I allowed the fuel tank to run dry. I immediately called the fuel company to see if they could make an emergency delivery, but they were booked for the day and not sure if they could make it out. The only thing to do was drive to the local gas station and buy diesel, which is essentially the same as heating fuel. I have two five-gallon cans that I keep in the truck, and after three trips to the gas station (for about $120) I was able to snag about thirty gallons and fire the boiler back up again. The fuel truck came a few hours later and delivered 400 gals., so I figured we’d be set for a while. Tragedy averted.

Tuesday morning we woke up with no water. Again, a bad situation since the heating system runs on water and umm... the toilets need water to work well. And we were kicking ourselves for not setting up the coffee maker the night before, as is our usual custom.

The water service line was frozen somewhere. I called the water company hoping they were doing some work nearby, but alas, no. I called one of the many pumping and thawing outfits around town; temperatures being what they were, they were booked too. No service ‘til tomorrow. A neighbor of ours pulled some strings and suddenly someone had an opening. He ended up using a heat gun to thaw a two foot section behind the washing machine in the garage. It took 20 minutes and $120, and the water was back on. Tragedy averted once more.

But again, it makes me wonder about what backups we have in place when this happens again. And it will. We have friends just down the street with a very well buttoned down house who experienced freezing issues this week. She posted recently about the cold in Fairbanks.

While the cold has not yet lifted, the spirits are bright for the new year. We had a cool fireworks display just across the road at the University. Stephanie and I took Jacob and Toby across the street in the car. We parked and watched a windshield full of fireworks while drinking apple cider in small plastic tumblers, “clinking” our glasses together and wishing each other Happy New Year. All this at eight o’clock in the evening. Stephanie wrote about Christmas recently and called it her best Christmas ever. This was, without a doubt, the best New Year’s Eve I’ve ever experienced. And all before nine o’clock in the evening. It’s gonna be a good year.

Posted on Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 11:53PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell in | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

If I remember right, you have left on the 31st for the last couple years, so I bet it was nice to spend New Year's Eve with Steph!
January 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMel
The joy of home ownership is constant upkeep and maintenance. Lucky your water pipe didn't burst as it froze. When we were in Michign, you can buy heating wre/cord that wraps around the susceptible water pipes and that help keep the pipes from freezing (as long as you have power, that is).

Also, good thing you were home when all this happened. I hate tot hink of this happening while you're still in Circle.

Love, dad
January 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDad (JLR)

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