Sunday, February 22, 2015

It Was Cold!

Cold!  That's what it was!  And I'm not talking about the weather.

Last Monday, I took a shower, as usual, but the water was almost scalding hot.  I didn't think much about it, and just figured I had the hot water turned on a little too strongly.  I skipped my Tuesday shower since it was an unplanned day off due to the snow, and I didn't have anywhere else to go.  On Wednesday morning, as I was getting ready for work, my shower was lukewarm.  That was unusual, especially since my daughter had been with her grandparents for a few days and she hadn't taken her regular 20 minute shower, using up all of the hot water.  On Wednesday evening, I was washing a few dishes and realized the water would not get hot.  It wasn't even lukewarm.  It was cold.

I checked out my hot water heater, which replaced my old one about 8 years ago, and it was cold to the touch.  I checked the circuit breaker and it was still in the on position.  I reset it anyway, but nothing happened.  It wasn't working.

I really wasn't ready to get another hot water tank.  I quickly checked online to get an idea of what a new one might cost, then I called a repair company to see about getting an appointment to have mine looked at.  I made an appointment for the earliest time available, which was Friday morning, between 7 a.m. and noon.  With the way things were going at work, I really couldn't afford to take off Friday morning, but it appeared I didn't have a choice.  I needed hot water.  Especially after my Thursday morning shower.

Courtesy of

I guessed that it wouldn't be too bad.  I guessed wrong.  I hopped into the shower Thursday morning, took a deep breath, and felt like I had just jumped into a swimming pool in the dead of Winter.  It was freezing!  I could barely catch my breath.  It was so cold, I could see my breath.  Ice cycles formed at the end of my fingers and on my eyelashes.  My lips turned blue.  I barely washed my body, trying very hard to avoid the flow of water, and just quickly washed my hair.  I lasted maybe 2 minutes.  That was all I could stand.  I shut off the water, and wrapped myself in my towel.  Usually, first thing in the morning, it takes me a little bit of time to fully awake, but that wasn't a problem this time.  I was wide awake.  I dressed quickly, and was ready to leave just as my sister walked in (she gets my daughter up and ready for school each morning).  She was surprised to see me ready to go so early.  I warned her about there being no hot water, and rushed outside.  The incredible record-setting low temperatures were no problem for me.  I had already been prepped for the coldness.

My father agreed to come over to the house on Friday morning for the repair guy, but he wouldn't arrive until 9 a.m.  I gave my sister the day off, and decided I would wait for the repair guy until 9, and then, with Dad covering for me, I would drop my daughter off at school, and then proceed to work.  Dad planned to stay until noon, or whenever it took to get the hot water tank fixed.

The plan was mucked up by the 2-hour delay for schools on Friday.  Dad said he would still plan to come over, but he said he could probably get there by around 8 or so.  We arranged for our wonderful neighbors to give my daughter a ride to school with their twin boys so Dad didn't have to leave the house if the repair guy was there.  That problem solved, I still had one more concern:  I had to take another cold shower on Friday morning.

The alarm went off, a little later than normal, and I crawled out of bed.  I was really dreading the thought of another cold shower.  I probably could have done something different, like heating some water and dumping it in the bathtub.  I just didn't have that kind of time.  So I braved it.  I turned on the water and jumped in.  I wish I could say it wasn't as bad as the previous day.  And it wasn't.  It was worse!  I don't know how it could be worse, but it was.  Since I had barely washed the day before, I knew I would have to be a little more thorough this time.  This meant actually getting in the flow of water from the shower head.  I'm pretty sure I qualify for the Polar Bear Plunge after this shower.  In fact, I'm challenging about a dozen relatives to do the ALS Cold Water Challenge.  The shower had the side effect of causing my blood pressure to hike into dangerous levels.  When it was over, and it lasted about a minute longer than the previous day, still less than half as long as a normal shower, I was ready to run a marathon.  I was pretty wired.

The repair guy showed up at around 8:30, and he quickly diagnosed a faulty thermostat.  $32, plus $99 for the housecall.  My father waited with him to finish up his work, and I headed to work.  Thank goodness I didn't need a whole new unit.  And let me tell you, when I arrived home, I had the nicest, longest, most relaxing hot shower that I've had in years.  It was like a spa.  I felt as if I deserved it after the cold water temperatures I had to deal with.  Thank goodness for modern conveniences.

I certainly get that I am fortunate to have a hot shower every morning.  Have you wondered about the homeless in your community?  Can you imagine how they must feel, especially given how much snow we've had and how cold the temperatures have been this Winter?  Did you know you can help them?  Sign up to help at your local homeless shelter.  My church, Grace Community, is having a Cold Weather Shelter at their facility all week.  There are still many opportunities to help.  If you have the time and can help, please do so.  Here is the website for more information:  Cold Weather Shelter

Stay warm, people!  Have a great evening, everyone!

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