Sunday, October 14, 2012

looking out

You folded my laundry? I hear both the gratitude and the accusation in those words.
Ed takes pride in looking after his own stuff. Especially laundry, realizing perhaps that, if I lay my hands on it, I may never deliver upstairs some of the most ancient shirts that go through the (equally ancient) machines.

I go back to grading papers, he reads, Isis sleeps. It's not an unusual pattern and you would think that I would feel burdened by it, but it's raining again today, really raining. We have a hard time kicking Isis outdoors to do his stuff.

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So it feels rather comfortable and warm to be in the farmhouse in this threesome, with the various agendas before us.
Or, it seemed warm and comfortable (past tense). I pull on a sweatshirt and glance at the thermostat. Hmm. Must be getting ready to click on. I go to the kitchen to finish up a few dishes… Oh oh.
Ed, two things: no warm water and now another issue: no furnace.
This shakes him up and out rather quickly.
Turn on the stove burners. 
Oh, they're really low!
He's on the phone for this one. Low gas pressure. Dwindling pilot lights. A major problem and perhaps (one can hope) not one that belongs to the farmhouse.

The Madison Gas & Electric guy is over and within an hour we think we have a diagnosis (for the curious, it's a failed regulator). Do you carry spare ones? -- Ed asks.
No. And it's not as if they're readily available. At least not the ones that would work here at the farmette.

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We call the usual suspects: Menards, Home Depot. Forget it.

So… no heat in the interim?
No heat. Basically, erase anything that requires gas.

It is our good fortune that we've been invited to dinner on this Sunday (by Ed friends, college and thereabouts) -- out at Lake Mills (for non locals -- that's 30 miles east of us: a pleasant drive, especially since the car is warm, even as the scenery today is so... well, brown and gray).

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Our hosts grill salmon brought down from the state of Washington.

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It's perfectly delicious, as is the apple cobbler and for a while I feel that farmhouse issues are nothing more than a good story to laugh over at dinnertime.

But eventually we have to go home. Cold home. With cold showers and cold pots standing on a cold stove.

On the upside, it isn't the coldest outside (upper thirties tonight). And maybe we have finally identified the issue behind our sporadically malfunctioning water heater.  And maybe the furnace will magically fire up again.. tomorrow. Or soon after.

I am always amazed how many things can and do come apart inside a house. Or within a car. Or a scooter, or a bicycle and I am once more grateful that Ed has the time and the ability to work through most any problem that emerges, usually out of the blue, usually when we aren't looking.