Thar She . . . Almost Blew!

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Ray and I are grateful that we didn’t have to quote the whalers, “Thar she blows!” on Christmas Eve! We are still praising God for His grace on Tuesday.

While we were on an outing with Bethany and her family, my brother Steve stayed at our house with Mother. Around noontime, Steve heard something sizzle in our “broom and mop” closet (I call it that for fun because my Daddy’s mother had one of those in her house). Along with brooms and mops and rag towels and cleaning supplies, that closet holds a water heater.

water heater illustration
“Mrs. Wiegel, farm wife, with electric brooder and hot water heater,” June 1942. Photo illustrating the Tennessee Valley Authority bringing electricity to rural families. Courtesy Library of Congress.

After Steve heard the sizzle, he saw smoke. My quick-thinking brother found our breaker box and turned off the breaker for the water heater and everything settled down. The only evidence left when we got home was the crack on the top of the water heater and the slightly-melted handle of the duster right above it.

I’m grateful that I wasn’t the one home alone with Mother on Tuesday. I don’t think flipping the breaker would have occurred to me! Now my brother is even more of a hero to me.

Whew! That was close. When the repairman came this morning to install a new water heater, he confirmed what we were already thinking. The old one could have exploded!

Bethany reminded us of the time a few years ago when a test of our well-water revealed e coli and plumbers had to install a new city water line from the road to our house. That time Ray and I had to spend the night in a hotel right before our family arrived to celebrate Christmas.

“Never a Dull Moment Around the Notgrass House,” proclaims the cross-stitch picture hanging across the room from the broom and mop closet. I’m guessing that you live in that kind of house, too. Praise God that He is faithful in the midst of what seems to be occasional — or frequent — chaos. He gives us the strength to be faithful, too.

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17-19


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  1. I have 6 kids ages 2-12, a dog, 7 cats, 6 sheep and ?? chickens. I cherish the dull moments! I try to schedule our life very simply because we don’t have very many dull moments around here. ????

  2. “Praise God that He is faithful in the midst of what seems to be occasional — or frequent — chaos.” This is so very true. A few Wednesday’s ago we came home to a burnt, rubbery smell in our home. After a very careful search through the house, my husband found the culprit–the controls for the thermastat to the radiant heat in our downstairs. It had blown up and out from the wall leaving huge black scorch marks. Had it blown downward it would have started the books and bookcase set below it on fire. The electrician who came to check/fix things up said in his 25+ years of working, he had never seen anything like the melted wires and control box he found. God is faithful to guard over our home and protect. I’ve prayed for years for the Lord to set His angels around our home and property to protect. He did!
    A side note– I did think to turn off the breakers to any heat in the house before my husband came home as the kids and I got home before he did. Thankfully we live in the Pacific Northwest where our winter had been somewhat mild so far and the fireplace could keep us going until the electrician came.
    Thankful that no one came to harm in our case or yours. Great is the Lord!

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