Last night, Brent, Haley, and I went to some friends' house for dinner and pinochle. We drove home (all dozen blocks of it) through some fresh-fallen snow. We knew Sunday would bring another blizzard (the fourth in ten days) and were thankful for the night out with warmth, friends, and laughter. (And winning both games of pinochle didn't hurt, either.)
After putting Little Miss to bed, Brent and I decided to get our money's worth for our Amazon Prime account and catch up on a few episodes of Downton Abbey. I don't know what season we're in, but I know we're way behind. I had no idea how late it was when Brent's phone rang. Brent has been on call this week for work, so although he was puzzled as to why someone may need help so late on a weekend, he answered the call. I was surprised when I looked at the clock to see it was 12:25 Sunday morning. I heard Brent say something in disbelief, then he got out of bed and went to the thermostat. There was a natural gas pipe explosion somewhere in Canada. Our utility company was calling to encourage its customers to conserve the natural gas, as there was now an unexpected shortage, and turn their heat down....to 60*.
At first I was none too pleased. We were supposed to get a blizzard and now we have to adjust the heat....to be cooler?! The more I thought about it, though, the more grateful I was. We have a home. A warm home. We have the means to keep it heated. They were calling to ask us to conserve, not to tell us we would be without much-needed warmth. We still had heat. We were fine. Thank you, Lord.
I walked in to put another blanket over Little Miss as she slept in her bed, put a sweatshirt on, and made sure I was as close as could be to Brent under our own covers. He is usually heat enough at night time. This time, though, the sweatshirt definitely helped.
This morning it was notably cooler in the house. I put on socks and slippers, and set out to brew a piping hot pot of coffee. I made half-caff this morning, so Brent could enjoy some too. After a short, but hot shower, I put on my hand-knit kerchief and long-sleeved layers. I started a roast in the crock pot. I baked eight mini-loaves of banana chocolate chip bread. Haley helped me bake eight mini-loaves and one full-size loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I've been doing laundry all day and flipped the dryer vent flap so it would pump the warm dryer air into our basement rather than outside. Until I can think of something else I can bake, I'm leaving the oven door open as it cools. That 350* feels pretty toasty. We all implemented lots of snuggle-time on the sofa under some blankets.
And wow, was all of that necessary. The wind is roaring outside, visibility at times is nil, and there are all sorts of things blowing in all sorts of directions past our windows. The temperature is far below zero as a result, and at times it's hard to see across the street. This winter has made quite a nasty reputation for itself. Plenty of snow-days, plenty of cancellations, and plenty of time spent inside dreaming about the warmer weather to come.
With the productivity I've managed today, and the bonus snuggles Little Miss has all too willingly requested, I think us having to turn the thermostat down was far more a blessing than an inconvenience. Maybe we're pretty spoiled keeping the house at a steady 70* through the winter after all. Maybe turning it down a couple degrees, and turning up our time spent in meaningful interactions and productivity, should be our new winter "thing". (Maybe compromise on 65*, though...)
While we've been enjoying our time snuggling together as a family, I do pray for those who are even closer to the explosion, having to work to repair it in the frigid temperatures, and those who were even more adversely affected, and don't have heat at all. This time of year, that's a dangerous situation, period.
I'm praying a prayer of thanks today for our home, our health, our family, and our creativity in the midst of the cold. As frigid as it is outside, we're full of warmth and comfort today.
|Banana Chocolate Chip Bread|
|Princess Story Time (Best Daddy Ever)|
|Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread|