Yesterday I woke up earlier than usual because I was cold. I mean, really cold! Anyone who knows me knows what a big deal this is. I was concerned, figuring I must be getting sick and running a fever. That was Amanda’s conclusion when I mentioned it to her. If Mom is cold, something is seriously wrong. I snuggled under the covers, and even pulled up the super-thick comforter that we only use to make the bed look pretty. I knew I’d get too hot at some point and end up tossing the comforter aside, but for now it felt nice. I was shocked when I woke up an hour later, still under the comforter and not too hot. That’s when I knew I was starting a fever.
I reluctantly crawled out of bed and pulled a sweatshirt over my pj’s and snuggled under a blanket into a comfy chair to watch the early morning news. And I was still not warm enough. When I was a little more awake, I started to think through the problem. I thought about the guy we had to the house the night before to sell us a new furnace. I thought, all things considered, it was a fairly convenient time to have the thing break, since we already a new one ordered that would be installed in a couple days. The guy we had at the house. Hmm… He looked at the old furnace. I wonder if he turned something off while he was checking it? So, I padded downstairs in my pj’s, sweatshirt and snuggly blanket (please note, it was a snuggly blanket, NOT a Snuggy!) and checked the thermostat. It was still set to “heat”. Huh. Bummer. However, it said it was currently a good 10 degrees cooler than it normally is in the house. “No wonder I feel cold! I’m not getting sick!” was quickly followed by “…so the furnace is dead.” Bummer.
I padded down the next flight of stairs to the basement and into the utility room, just to make sure there was no possibility of resuscitation. I stood looking at the Mighty Furnace Monster that was the possible cause of my agony. I stared at it; it stared at me.
And I thought: “I’ve seen a couple different repair guys take off that front panel, and they make it look easy. I can do that. I wonder where the switch is, though. I’ve never seen them flip a switch. It must be one of those reach-up-to-the-inside-of-the-front-panel thingies. Or maybe a behind-the-trumpety-heat thingies that shoot flames into the peeling-metal-thingy-they-said-could-crack-wide-open-any-day thingy. That would be bad. Uh…” And with that, I headed back upstairs where it was slightly warmer to nurse my indignation at being woken up early.
I called Brian to tell him what was going on, mostly because, even though it wouldn’t make me warmer, I had decided that whining to someone would make me feel better. His response was quick. He said, “Did you check the switch on the unit itself?” I gave him my story of woe, of how I was too intimidated to open it up and start feeling around inside the thing to find the switch. He told me that I didn’t have to open the unit, confident that it would be easy for me to find. I headed back down the stairs, pj’s, sweatshirt, snuggly blanket and all. I entered the utility room once again, with absolutely no confidence that I would be able to find the magical switch.
Scroll up and look at that picture of the furnace again. Did you notice the obvious electrical box mounted on the side of it? Me either… Not only was the switch on the outside of the furnace, it was red. As in, if-you-ever-need-a-switch-there’s-no-way-you-won’t-see-this red. As in, if-Wiley-Coyote-ever-bought- a-furnace-to-drop-on-the-Road-Runner-the-switch-would-look-like-this red.
I mean, really. Who would make such a switch??? Although I suppose a better question is, what kind of person could possibly miss it???