March 13, 2019



This has been a trying week. I have trying weeks fairly often. Especially when the weather is bad. I try to do things right, but struggle.
It started with a water tank. When you have frost-free tanks, tanks that require only ground heat to remain open, the weather a week ago was a true test. I found out that frost-free tanks are NOT frost-free when the wind chill is -60 for a couple days and nothing is venturing up on the hill to the tank to drink.  
When the weather straightened out and warmed up to zero, I checked the tank. I had a well-insulated tank of solid ice. With well insulated, albeit a frozen waterline beneath it.
Being the handyman I am, I decided that as long as I had that tank torn apart, I should replace the float system with a better design of my own. I’m handy that way you know. So with a dozen thirsty horses chewing on my jacket and picking up my tools when my back was turned, I commenced my repair job.
It is lucky I live close to town. Over the course of two days, I made one trip to Menards, six trips to Ace Hardware, five trips to Runnings, and two trips to Pump Systems. I am like the guy that won’t ask directions when lost. I tend to visualize what I need, drive up to the plumbing supply store, then stand for hours and look at shelves of stuff that I don’t understand. And as I stare, my vision blurs and my well thought of plans go by the wayside. I end up with a mixed bag of things that are of absolutely no use when I get back to the tank. If you need some plumbing supplies, I have several. I don’t know what they are. You will have to stop and look.
But on the third day, I arose again from the bed, and got it hooked up and working. I was so proud.
That was Saturday.
Sunday was a new day.  And a new problem.  
We awoke to a chilly house. Although I was, as usual the first one up, I didn’t do anything. I turned the news on and covered with a blanket. Maybe I was just sick. Maybe.  
Then Shirley awoke and came out.  “It’s cold in here! The furnace is out!”  
I’m really handy with furnace stuff. And you can’t really call a repairman at five o’clock Sunday morning.  
I took the front off the furnace. That was easy.  I stood transfixed as I stare at a bunch of wires and warning labels. I tapped on it with a hammer. Nothing. I jiggled some wires. Nothing. I turned the thermostat way down and then up. Then I tapped on the thermostat. Nothing. Oh, it did light a time or two, but then quickly shut off.  
I told Shirley not to worry. We have an electric heater in the entryway. We could leave the door open, turn that heater on high, and get by until Monday.  
It seemed to be working well, but Shirley said it smelled like something in the heater was burning. I said that’s what heaters do. A little later the electric heater quit. I turned it off and on. Nothing. I hit it pretty hard with my open hand. It started! Then it stopped. After slapping the heater fairly hard a few times, I gave up.
It’s Sunday night. I am on my way to Menards, Runnings, Ace Hardware, and Tractor Supply to buy heaters to keep my wife warm and comfortable until tomorrow.

Stay warm,