An Unwelcome Guest

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Yesterday morning was our first trip to town since our icy weather started last Monday. I was surprised at how slick the roads still were and completely unprepared for what we found in town. The street in front of our church building and all of our parking places were covered with ice. Ray couldn’t get up the hill to let Mother out at the side door like he usually does; our preacher helped her make the long trek in on the only cleared sidewalk.

Ray and I parked at a public building next door. That lot was so slick that I would have loved to have attempted a run-and-slide. I tested my boots a little–it would have been just right!

Many elderly people who are unable to get out are blessed by our televised services. The audience must have swelled yesterday, because only nineteen brave souls were at the building. Everyone of us probably had a story we could have shared about the weather. I know Ray and I certainly did.

I hesitate even to tell you about it because it is mild compared to what others have experienced this week. One reader who lives in our general part of the country wrote to me over the weekend, telling me that they had neither water nor power all week!

We have been much warmer in what George Bailey (in “It’s a Wonderful Life”) would definitely call a “drafty old house,” since we had central heat and air put in fall before last. However, I kept feeling really cold at my desk last week. With temperatures between zero and twenty for days and days, we thought that maybe this was just the best that we could do.

However, on Saturday I finally went from vent to vent around the house and realized that some were blowing nice and warm and others were not blowing at all. Ray went down to the cellar where the central vents enter the house. He walked into a toasty cellar where a 16″ diameter air duct was dangling down almost to the floor. At least a third of our heat was blowing into the cellar!

Ray called the company that installed the system; they said they would work first on homes that had no heat at all and try to be out in the late afternoon. Unwilling to continue heating the cellar, Ray and I got a role of 2″ black tape the heating and cooling company left behind once before and headed down to do what we could. For an hour or so, we took turns trying to hold up the giant air duct in the spot where it was supposed to be and taping it in place. Every time we felt a bit of warm air, we added more tape. When we came back in, warm air was coming through all the vents. We were especially glad we did that when the repairman called late Saturday afternoon to say that the roads were simply too icy and he wasn’t coming at all!

Let me just say that our dirt floor cellar which is much more than 100 years old is not the cleanest place in the house. I didn’t even want my jeans inside until I had all of our work clothes together and could start washing them, so I laid them on the porch.

I didn’t get to washing our work clothes immediately. My jeans had laid on the porch for about three hours when Ray headed out for a chore. I saw him unexpectedly inside the house a few minutes later and he explained that he hadn’t wanted to go outside just yet, because there was (of all things!) a skunk on our porch.

The skunk had found a nice soft place to make a little bed for himself! You guessed where! On my jeans!

I tell you, there’s a reason Ray asked me to cross-stitch this in 1984.

Never A Dull Moment

Had any “never a dull moment” moments at your house lately?

A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

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  1. I would have welcomed the guest – as long as it behaved! I had a pet skunk as a child and would love to try to make friends with one now.

    • Yep! One wonderful adventure after another. The really nice thing is that the heating and cooling company that put it in called us on Monday and said, “This is our fault. We are going to come and fix it and you won’t owe anything!” They did come and we are in business again!

  2. Karen’s comment reminds me of “Sweet Sue’s Adventures” by Sam Campbell.:-) I always thought it would be intriguing to have a “pet” skunk who would not feel threatened and wouldn’t spray. But alas, we found out the hard way recently that our Blue Mountain Cur knows EXACTLY how to raise the dander on a skunk! He (our dog) paid the smelly price for his attempts to be friendly!

  3. An inspiration for a unique Wizard of Oz set piece combined with a science project has resulted in the temporary acquisition of chicks, now 8 weeks old. We’ve had few dull moments over the past two months. But now we know that 1)there is a reason chickens are not considered house pets, 2)teaching them to fly up to your arm is only fun when their feet are clean, and 3)coop building/rebuilding/expanding becomes addictive!

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