Now winter weather in Our Town is nothing but a distant memory, the Siberia-like conditions we experienced in February got my memory in high gear.
I recalled some frigid winter weather episodes, and the various situations we (my bride, Lady Deborah and I) had to deal with over the years. I will list three of the most memorable happenings, although we certainly have had other “cold mishaps.”
The first situation occurred several years ago. My bride and I were on a Lindblad Expedition (loosely affiliated with the National Geographic Society) to the Central American country, Costa Rica. We flew to their capital city, San Jose, and were transported via motor coach. west to a port city on the Pacific Ocean. Here, we embarked on a small (less than 100 passengers) cruise boat, and enjoyed a week-long adventure, along the entire length of the small country, heading north to south, along their coast. We would take Zodiacs from our vessel to shore, and then take guided tours into tropical wildlife areas, including some dense jungle habitat. Costa Rica is an absolutely beautiful country, and is very accommodating to American tourists. In fact, many American ex-pats permanently live in the lovely country. Arriving at the southern end of the country, our Sea Lion ship then turned east, and traveled through the iconic Panama Canal. Once we had cleared all the canal locks, we spent our final cruise evening on the huge, man-made Gatun Lake. I was relaxing outside on the front deck of the vessel, when the ship’s captain called me to the bridge. He told me I had a shore-to-ship telephone call. Our Town had experienced very cold weather while my bride and I were visiting Costa Rica. The long-distant telephone caller informed me a water pipe had broken inside my medical office, and water was running into the street intersection a block away! After clearing my head of emotions, I called a friend/plumber, and, over the next few days, he fixed most of the problems. He found a workable solution out of a minor emergency situation. We flew home a couple of days later. I vividly remembered the temperature difference, Costa Rica and Our. Town when we arrived home.
The next icy adventure I bring you happened inside our home, also a few years ago. It was the holiday season, and, per usual, my bride had our nest-of-rest decorated like a true “Santa’s Workshop”. In fact, year after year, guests would love to visit our place during the Christmas season because of the talent Ms. Debbie routinely displayed in decorating our home to the max! So, one Friday afternoon while I was home alone, I was reading a newspaper in a bedroom on the far east side inside our home.
Being totally relaxed that day, I was still in my bedroom clothing and house coat. The total silence was broken when I heard a strange sound coming from our laundry area on the west side of the house. As I walked over to investigate. I looked up to the ceiling. just in time to witness a small Niagara Falls (broken ceiling water pipe) erupting through the dry wall. The result was a deluge of cold water, falling on me and the oak floor I was walking across. Quickly, or faster (?), I ran (still wet) outside in my sleeping attire, into our ice-caked, scatted snow, front yard, desperately needing to turn off our main water supply at the meter. With the help of my neighbor across the street, we were successful in getting the valve turned to the magical off position. Over the next few weeks, past Christmas and well into the New Year, the “disaster insurance company folks” worked diligently inside our home, and operated several giant/noisy drying fans 24/7. Yes, this entire ordeal was quite a memorable Breedlove holiday experience.
The last event occurred during this last February record cold spell. Within a 30-minute time span, we lost the furnace motors on both our downstairs heating units. Our timely repair man said in the 20 years he has fixed furnace blowers, he has never heard of two units going out, approximately the same time. However, because of the extreme cold we experienced, he said the failing motors never had time to rest, as they were constantly running, trying to overcome the bitter cold outside. His explanation made perfect sense to me, and, more importantly, he efficiently repaired both our units.
So, these are my cold weather stories, and I’m sticking to them. Enough said.