There are two words that I despise when used in conjunction. These
two words are fine by themselves; however I have an almost physical
reaction to them when they are both placed in the same room. These
words are water and cold; used together they are the stuff of
nightmares for me.
I was working overnight last week-end. I awoke late one morning to
find that we had no water in the house. Lisa had already checked each
bathroom, kitchen and laundry room and found all were without water.
This would be a system-wide, Armageddon-class water outage. I didn’t
even change from my pajamas but went out to the pump house. The
thermometer showed the temp to be about zero inside the pump house. I
felt a desperate terror at thoughts of hanging over the wall of the
pump house trying to thaw split pipes while avoiding electrocution
when the pipes finally did thaw.
I keep a spare heater in the pump house and the cord is taped to the
side of the wall. I first checked the fuses which were fine then
pulled the chain right out of the light switch on the wall. I found
the cord and plugged it in then went back to the house to peel the
frozen pajamas from my ankles. Surprisingly, the water soon came back
on which lasted until I was ready to go back to work. I then
discovered my back-up heater had joined the primary heater in an
early death. No stores were open to purchase another so I pulled out
the heater, sprinkled it with pixie dust and plugged it back in-and
it actually worked.
The next morning when I got home the heater had quit again so I got a
few hours of sleep then went into town and got a new heater for the
pump house. At the time, the pipes had frozen a total of three times
but had yet to split. I have tried to impart how real God is in my
life, but I can think of no recent act greater than those pipes that
shows someone is watching over me. I was so focused on this task that
I wasn’t even conscious of time passing. I installed the new heater,
re-wired the light switch I had ruined then put my tools away and
went inside exhausted from lack of sleep and hours spent in the cold.
I walked past the pump house today while I was feeding cattle. During
the repair, I had walked between it and the shop so many times that I
had compacted a semi-circular trail in the snow. When I considered
how many of those trips had been fruitless and frustrating, the trail
made me feel like something awful had happened in this spot. It
looked like the conspicuous marks of concentrated effort that would
occur in a desperate battle or some violent act.
After I’d restored heat and water the last day of my battle, I went
to pick-up groceries. Lisa asked if I really felt like it after days
spent lifting the ice-covered pump house roof and many intense
moments spent without gloves trying to make a repair. I told Lisa
that I was actually looking forward to getting groceries. The grocery
store was warm, I like being around food and most importantly; their
water was not frozen.
I still don’t like messing around with the coupons.