Coping with the Cold Weather

It seems like it was yesterday when we were out and about enjoying the national parks, the beach, camping and bbqing and all of a sudden am wearing a coat!!!  I love the changing of the seasons and the beauty that comes with it.  In the spring the trees get green, the flowers beautify the garden in many colors, and the sound of birds is music to my ears.  Summer, brings the excitement of knowing we are going to visit some landmarks, and try to squeeze as much as possible in the 12 weeks of nice weather.  Fall brings its own natural beauty.  Nature blesses us with the change of colors as if some magical painter decided to add some color to the universe. The weather is perfect in the fall, it is not too hot, not too cold and being outside in the country to enjoy nature provides the best panoramic views.  Then comes winter, it is not my favorite season but if I didn’t have to go out in the snow and cold to go to work I would probably not put it on the bottom of my list. Winter brings out of my soul a natural feeling that makes me uneasy.

First I don’t like driving when it is snowing.  I go through emotional changes just knowing the road may not have as much traction as when the road is dried.   I get concerned about ice patches and potentially slide without the ability to stop the car.  I guess I am just afraid of having an accident.  One may think that I suffer from a post trauma condition, but I have never had an accident while driving in the snow.  I haven’t an accident period!  Who knows perhaps something terrible happened to me in a car in my other life.  As bad as it is we all have responsibilities and if one has not yet retired one must go to work unless you won the lottery. If we could only be so lucky!

Driving in the snow this year has not been my only worry.  After enjoying the holidays vacation and returning to our NY home we got the most horrific surprise.  It seems that as we were away the temperatures in our area went down to the minus numbers. We left the heater on and the thermostats have settings for the different hours of the day, sleep, wake, away and return.  All were set at temperatures that have kept the space comfortable and warm through the 16 years we have been in this house.  We arrived at the house and I noticed it was a bit too cold, therefore I decided to raise the thermostat temperature.  After an hour the room it still felt cold.  I am always very in tune with the environment and the noises that are familiar and unfamiliar in the house.  It seemed like I was hearing running water so I began to search for it.  All of the sudden as I passed the door to the basement the sound seemed to be louder.  I opened the door and went down the stairs to see the steam and waterfall like flow into the garage. It was at that moment that i said “holy cow.”   I immediately tried to find a solution and thanks to my neighbors and a good friend the water flow was shutdown.  But what caused the pipes to breakdown? I still needed to figure out what caused the problem.  The water was coming down from the bedroom that is directly above the garage.  My friend Phil went to the bedroom and came back to tell me “there is a lake of water in the bedroom.” OMG!!!  what the hell happened?  Upon further investigation we realized the cold weather had frozen the cast iron baseboard which cracked. When I raised the thermostat the hot water began to thaw out the ice and the water saturated the floor leaking down to the basement. The zone needed to be turned off, but the problem was that the zone controlled the main part of the house where the kitchen and bathrooms are located.  To make matters worse there was a winter advisory alert for several inches of snow and frigid temperatures in two days.  What was I going to do?  Not having heat in the house  was going to make the rest of the pipes freeze.  Thank goodness I have very good neighbors who always try to help.  Fortunately the next day we were able to bypass that room by completing some minor plumbing and the heat was restored to the main part of the house before the next storm arrived.  My neighbors told me that during the time we were away the weather dropped to -7 degrees.  I don’t recall the temperature ever being that cold.

Starting the year 2018 with so many things going wrong it is very disappointing.  The next day the weatherman was forecasting more snow and cold; well it arrived.  We had many inches of snow and I  went to start the snow blower and begin clearing out the snow.  As I started to use the machine I noticed it was not blowing the snow.  I stopped and began to check the mechanism and to my luck the augers in the snow blower were not working. I had to clear a 70 feet driveway with a shovel.   While I was shoveling I thought that my luck needed to change as it is too early in the year to not start it positively. Anyone would think that this happened because our equipment do not get service; however, we have preventive maintenance contracts and the equipment is well-kept.  The unusual frigid temperatures were punishing the equipment, pipes, walls and it wasn’t just happening to us but many other people were in the same situation.

So far we are still waiting for the insurance to finalize the claim in order to get the damage repaired.  I see all of the work that needs to be done and quickly think my vacation time in the spring might be impaired by construction work.  I just hope not!!!

There are only 47 days to Spring 2018 YEAH!!!!!! We patiently wait for February 2nd to see if the groundhog tells us if there would be 6 more weeks of winter or spring is around the corner.  Until then we just hope that the weatherman gets it right and the universe have mercy on us and we don’t get a lot of snow.  As this year even people in the southern states are wearing coats we can’t help to say that there are some who say “global warming is a hoax” but just take a look around us.  Only an ignorant person or someone who has financial interest in some potential business that is not affected by global warming would be brave enough to say that. For us common people, we are looking forward to warm weather and the moment we can begin our journey to find “fun around the corner.”

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