It’s amazing the things we take for granted.
My family and I have now been without heat for more than 24 hours, and though we’re lucky that this week is warmer than last, it has still gotten quite cold in our house. I’ve been walking around in a pair of heavy wool socks that I haven’t donned since I moved to North Carolina from Pennsylvania more than 14 years ago, my 2-year-old has on a pair of mismatched gloves (though he sometimes does that when it’s warm outside because, well, he’s 2) and my daughter is still in her warmest of nightgowns, even though it’s nearly noon. Our noses are cold, but our spirits are up.
That’s because we’ve realized that things could be much worse. Instead of a rusted out blower and a heat pump on its last legs, we could have had a fire yesterday morning, which is what my husband and I feared when we suddenly awoke to what smelled like burning plastic. And, thanks to our anticipated tax return, we were able to afford the needed repairs (there are men working under my house right now to get our heat back up and running), which means we won’t have to spend another night with all four of us – and the cat – huddled together in one bed, topped with every comforter and quilt in the house.
On the way home from work last night, after I hung up my cell phone from relating my tale of the day’s woes to my mom, my 5-year-old dispensed her usual dose of kid wisdom.
“Mom,” she said, “sometimes you just have to deal.”
So that’s exactly what we’ve done. When we got home, we built a roaring fire in the fireplace. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for dinner, and we joked and laughed as we all snuggled down for the night in Mommy and Daddy’s bed. And this morning, we warmed ourselves with mug after mug of hot chocolate as we watched cartoons and waited for the repairmen.
We’ve tried to make the best of a minorly bad situation – and it’s been quite a bit of fun. But when our house finally returns to its normal 72 degrees, I know that, for at least one night, I’ll be grateful for the heat.