Every Day That the Furnace Works Is a Good Day

-- by Alan Detwiler

The things that make our lives better - our homes, food, clothing and our families should make us feel good by just knowing we have them. But those important things likely have been a part of our lives for a long time. Human nature turns our attention away from the familiar. So we seldom feel very happy about what we have. But if something important to us is taken away and then is somehow recovered, we feel joy and appreciation.

Too bad we humans can't feel so fortunate about things before they are taken away. How great we would feel about our health, our abilities to move around, our mental abilities to reason and remember, and the numerous other things that are out of our minds just because we take them for granted. Shouldn't we make 'asset awareness' a higher priority in our lives? What better way is there to get more out of life? That little bit of wisdom would make us happier if we could just get ourselves to put it into practice.

My furnace stopped working late one evening this winter when the temperature outside was heading toward the lower twenties overnight. There would not be a furnace repair shop open at that time of day. I have quite a few tools, am mechanically inclined, and have some knowledge of how the furnace works. So I went down into the basement and started removing the pump/blower assembly from the oil-burning furnace so it could be inspected. When the mounting bolts were removed and the assembly taken out, several small pieces of shattered plastic could be seen lying at the bottom of the combustion chamber. The plastic shaft linking the motor to the oil pump had shattered into many small pieces. There would be no heat in the house overnight and probably a good part of the next day.

The temperature in the house had dropped into the lower 60s around 8 p.m. when I noticed the furnace was not coming on, as it should. By 10 p.m. when I had discovered the root cause, it was in the mid 50s. Fortunately, I have a lot of extra blankets. I took three, folded each in half for a total of six extra layers and put them on the bed. I put on a coat, a second pair of pants, heavy socks, a knit hat, and knit gloves and went to bed.

I was quite comfortable that night. The next morning, the temperature in the house was 48 degrees F. I was dressed warmly and was reasonably comfortable as long as I kept moving quickly and didn't slow down. The urge to stay warm felt overpowering. A call to the nearest furnace repair shop (about 10 miles away) gave me the good news that a replacement part was in stock. The $12 price seemed like a real bargain to get back a heated home again. Just after noon I had completed the repair just in time to eat lunch as the house warmed up to the balmy 68 degrees were the thermostat was set. What luxury!

We have so much. We heat our homes. We provide ourselves with food and other necessities. We have many luxuries and creature comforts. Every one of those good things should be celebrated and enjoyed. All of what we have is special - the newly acquired, the familiar, the big/important things and the little things. It is special to be able to prepare a plate of food for supper, take it out into the yard and sit down in the sun and eat it. If that doesn't seem special, visit a nursing home (most of us will live in one some day). Most of the residents there are wheelchair bound. They eat in their rooms or in a large dining hall with other residents. Those are their only two choices.

When I walk out onto my lawn with my plate of food, I am going to enjoy it. I hope I always remember - every day that the furnace works is a good day.

About the author:

Alan Detwiler writes about things to do to have fun. His web site is www.leisureideas.com



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