"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, January 10, 2011

Adventures In Zero Oil

We have been running, running, running....wildly, panickedly...our lists fluttering from our back pockets while we stamp out fires and buzz in a labyrinth of manic circles. And then sometime this weekend we remembered to check our oil tank and ordered another round for delivery on Monday morning and then wondered aloud to each other, "Just exactly how serious is that ominous 0 where the needle is hovering?"

Heh. Heh. Heh. And again I say, heh.

Late last night, after dinner was over and the washing up in full swing we began to notice it was oddly chill in the house suddenly. And by the time we were ready for bed we were huddled in blankets in the living room, crammed as tightly together as possible for body heat and I had drunk two full mugs of tea, not bothering with the sugar or cream but just gulping quickly.

We set the space heater up in the boy's room, put an extra layer on the baby, unrolled another quilt for our bed and tucked in. And I swear that there was starting to be frost hovering in the air over our pillows as we switched out the light.

When you wake up in the morning and there is no heat in your house and it is January and you're having a cold snap with a foot of snow on the ground...you have to find a warm place so that the kids can flow from pajamas to clothing to breakfast in relative calm. I lit a fire in the fireplace, dressed kids in front of the bedroom space heater (sweaters, jeans, t-shirts, turtlenecks, sweatshirts, hats etc.) and then plopped the big boys in front of the crackly blaze with blankets while I strapped the baby to my back in a carrier and whipped up breakfast and another mug of tea.

Later as we all ate our breakfast together and we watched the coals settling and snapping as the logs burnt away I thought of my mother as a new bride, watching her dishes shatter from freezing suddenly in her new house without a furnace, or proper doors and walls, just an inefficient woodstove and a lot of hope. Made our pink fingertips and noses seem  quite bear-able. I like to think I would have made a good pioneer woman but truly, I am so kidding myself. I'm soft. I am so glad that the oil man came this afternoon and that right now,  the radiator next to me is kicking it out for all it's worth. I really like automatic heat.


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