Watchin' God Book One - Listed Alphabetically


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Furnaces that go BOOM in the morning

     Two weeks ago we arrived at our 'vacation home' to discover the oil tank was empty, and it was very cold in the trailer.  Since it was on Friday after all the delivery services were closed, and we didn't want to pay extra for delivery on the weekend, it was Monday before we could even call anyone to have some delivered, and Wednesday before it could be delivered.  The temperature those few days was down around zero (or lower) at night.  But we have two nice safe space heaters: an oil-filled electric radiator and an infrared.  We hung out in a small room with the door closed.  Luckily, there is a small half-bath attached. Thanks Lord!
     The good thing is that my new tenants had paid the rent (early) a few days before we discovered the oil problem, so there was just enough extra unplanned money to pay for the extra unplanned oil delivery.  Don't you just love Watchin' God??
     Since the oil had to be paid for in advance or on delivery, I had to stay while Paul went back home to work.  Paul arranged for the neighbor to came over and started the furnace for me (since I didn't take my cousin's husband up on his offer of telephone support to do it).  While the neighbor was doing that, he pointed out a few other things I might want to know: where the emergency shutoff switch was for the boiler, and a comment about a friend whose furnace wouldn't work because the batteries in the thermostat were dead.
See the Red switch cover plate?  That's the emergency shut off switch.  It was obscured by a cabinet a day ago.
     Don't you know that a week later - the furnace stopped working!
     And it was only the batteries in the thermostat.
     God is good about giving us the information we need.  Thanks Lord!

     The desire to replace the very thick wall-to-wall carpet took hold of me again last weekend, because it's next to impossible to vacuum and has been subject to cats for 12 years prior to our owning the place.  We found a piece of carpet remnant that was long enough, and arranged to have it installed. Only the price of delivery for that piece was the same as the difference in the original and sale price. . .  And I really liked another piece much better, since we would basically have to pay full price.  Only there was no more of the piece I liked better.  And before the installer would install it, there had to be a measurement by the company.  Okay. . . But that meant I would get to have to stay for another week.
     In the meantime, I figured since there was all that time to kill, I would hang the wallpaper that was stashed in a cabinet would look nice on the living room walls, even though I had acquired it for another room at about 1/20th of the retail price.  So I primed the wall behind the sofa Sunday night.
     Monday morning I get a phone call from the carpet estimator.  Could they come later that day?  "But of course!" says I.  I decide to cut the carpet off the dining room so the estimator would know exactly where I wanted it to stop.  That went well.  The trim pieces for the space that was cut out for the 'entry way' fit perfectly along the new straight-across-the-room edge.  Amazing!  Thanks Lord!  The vinyl underneath is in decent shape, and we plan to cover it eventually with sticky 'oak' vinyl strips that we purchased last year for dirt cheap.  I really like the look of the long dining/living room now that there is a definite dividing line.  And who in their right mind puts dense light colored carpet under a table, anyway??  At some point the white stuff has to go, but probably not until I'm ready to put down the 'oak'.
     The wallpaper is still in it's wrapper. . .

     Tuesday morning I got up, washed my face, combed my hair and heard this loud B-O-O-M!
     It's not unusual for a door to the bathroom closet to fall, (because I haven't put up the trim and hung the door yet) but I was standing right in front of it, and it definitely had not fallen.  I walked out of the bathroom looking for what could have made the noise to discover smoke in the hallway - and as far as my eye could see through the kitchen, dining room and living room!
     Quick, turn off (the recently discovered) emergency shut off switch!
     I called the furnace man who cleaned it at the beginning of last year's heating season.  Voice mail.
     I called the oil company to see if they had a recommendation.  They gave me the name of the man who does their work for them.  Voice mail.
     So I called Home Depot.  Yes, they have someone who can look at it for me.  The nice gentleman in plumbing took my information and said the heating man would call me in a few minutes.  Two hours go by. . .  nothing.  I was just about to call to find out what happened when the guy from HD called and said he had given his repairman the wrong number.  Within a minute, I get a call from them.  A light goes off in my brain at the name of the company.  I've had them come out to give me an estimate before.  They're outrageously expensive.  But this is the heater.  We have to have it.  And it can go on the HD credit card, right?
     The man came to give me an estimate later on Tuesday.  $4000!!!   Truly, I was expecting something along that line, and maybe even a bit more, so I wasn't shocked.  At least I was able to share some helpful personal information and this blog site with the furnace man.  God puts people in your way to help, sometimes to be a help.  This was the 'help' situation.  Later that night my facebook friends were aghast at the price, offering advice on how to fix it, and even offering to come down from Alaska to do it.  It was decided that perhaps a second opinion might be a good idea, before Thursday when the expensive people showed up. 
     The wallpaper is still in the wrapper. . . It really will look good when it's up.
     Wednesday morning I got a call about the carpet, and had to put off installing it, since an annoyance is a lot less important than a necessity.  Besides, now that I cut off the carpet under the dining room table, the vacuuming would be a lot easier and I really like it.
     My next project was calling one of those two furnace guys I hadn't been able to get ahold* of yesterday.  I chose the one recommended by the oil company.  This time when I got voice mail, I took them up on the 'in case of emergency' and sent a page.  He called me back immediately.
     We discussed his payment policy (cash or check, thank you very much) and that I don't have a car, so he would have to take me down to the credit union to get the cash.  He was okay with that.  Turns out he was only a few minutes away from our house when I called, so he was here in no time flat.
     "This isn't good," he said with a frown.
     The cap had blown off the chimney and was in the yard.  The fire box was bowed.  "That must have been quite a 'boom.'  It's really going to need to be replaced."  (Sorry. I forgot to take pictures.)
     His price to replace the unit: $2550.
     And we had the cash.  Of course, the plane tickets to Alaska to go to 2 reunions this summer would have to wait until I found a better price (the only reason we still had the money) and Paul works some overtime to save up for them.
     The furnace guy left to pick up the furnace and his son to come help him.  When they tried to get it into the spot, they were having some trouble.  "Lord, would you please help them get that thing in there?"  I said out loud to no one in particular (except, of course, God.)  The furnace man thought I was talking to him, and he hadn't heard what I said, since he was working on getting that thing in place.  I told him I was just talking to God, and what I had asked for.  He made some comment and went back to work.
     When they were finished, he said that was the easiest installation he had done in a long time.  I smiled, and reminded him of my prayer.
     If I hadn't been here the trailer could very well have burnt to the ground.  Yes, all this stuff get's annoying sometimes, but I'm glad God didn't take me too seriously when I complain that it would be "nice if all this stuff just disappeared!"

UPDATE:  This morning P forwarded an email that I sent him 11 months before this incident.  You may find it interesting.
Friday, April 5, 2013 10:47:34 AM
"Got a home warranty for the house in GA.  Can't get one for the trailer if it's over 10 years old.  .... hmmm... since this trailer was built in 1966, I don't think we'll be getting one for here, huh?  It will, therefore, be on God to keep the heater running or supply the cash to get it replaced in the event that is necessary at some point in the future."
Which just goes to prove why It's so much fun Watchin' God!!

definition of 'ahold'
1. Illiterate spelling of 'a hold'.
2. Broken keyboard spelling of 'a hold'.

a little less condemning
to find or communicate with someone: I'd like to get ahold of Debbie and talk to her about this.


How many ways did you find that God showed up and worked out things in advance?