I woke up on Sunday to discover it was f***ing cold in my house. I checked my thermostat and sure enough, it was in the low 60's. Brrrrrrrr. I have the heat set to go on and off on a timer so it goes on and off automatically, so I was confused. I decided...maybe it was tired? So I turned the heater off for half an hour and then turned it back on. Nothing. Definitely broken. Just in time for the first cold spell to hit the area.
I couldn't feel my frozen fingers, and decided this just wouldn't do. Grateful for the long-burning log my brother brought over last weekend, I put it in the fireplace and lit it. I opened the fireplace screen (more warmth) and sat in front of the fire. After about 45 minutes my hands were toasty warm again. Ahhh.
This whole thing reminds me of something I haven't thought about for quite a while. It was a cold, frosty January evening two years ago, and X. and I were just returning from the hospital after I had had emergency surgery earlier in the week. We walked in to a freezing house to discover that our gas had been shut off. Turns out X. hadn't paid the gas bill in a few months, after repeatedly assuring me he was taking care of things. I was livid. I was in pain. I was tired. And I was cold. We lit a fire for warmth, and after one very cold night and much haggling, he got the Gas Company to come out and turn it back on the next morning. He finally paid the bill, along with the hefty deposit that was required now because of his delinquency.
The thing that angered me the most was that we HAD the money to pay the bill -- he just neglected to do so. As we tried to work through our problems in the final years, he kept saying he wanted and needed more responsibility and trust (which I very much wanted to give him). But the sad reality was that when he took stuff on his plate, things like this happened with alarming regularity. I constantly struggled with wanting to save my marriage, needing a partner and NOT someone to monitor, and also realizing I had to protect my own credit and financial standing so that I didn't drown in his irresponsibility.
It makes me happy to realize, on days like today, that the heat isn't working because of a mechanical malfunction and not because the bill hasn't been paid.
Oh, silver lining.