It is COLD in here. 43 degrees F. Here's why:
Last night the house filled with the scent of what I can only describe a burnt steam. The rooms were hazy with it. My first thought was, "Dinner is burning." It wasn't. The furnace, however, was.
Our 1919 Bungalow has a steam heat system that bangs and clangs and makes comforting hissing noises as the cast iron radiators fill with the steam that has kept us cozy all the twenty-four years I have lived here.
Last night, as I was cooking my wild rice and shrimp (with asparagus and black olives....MMMmmmm....) the water level regulator stopped working; but the furnace didn't. I didn't find this out, however, until I ventured downstairs where the smell was horrible and the air much worse.
Standing by that steam-belching beast in my basement, I called on Saint Joseph, patron of the home, but also my personal protector for as long as I can remember. I immediately felt his loving presence, and knew instantly what to do. I opened the water valve and shut down the heater, actions I now realize kept our furnace from exploding.
Long story longer, I called the oil company, who sent their guy, who told me the boiler was cracked. We need a new boiler. But the house, and I, were both still intact. My husband, upon returning from work, was also delighted by this news. Too late to buy space heaters, we slept late and comfortably under our down quilt.
So now, seeing my breath as I write this, wondering what is taking so long at Home Depot (my husband went for space heaters), I am grateful. I am grateful that, as soon as I post this, swaddled in wool blankets I can warm my hands with this hot mug of coffee and watch the sparrows squabble at the feeder. I am most grateful that my house did not explode into the coldest night we have had all year. I am grateful that well-trained professionals will arrive soon to replace our boiler. I am grateful that both tuitions have been paid and we can cover this expense before next semester's bill is due. I am grateful for the love that surrounds me and for the ongoing knowing that when I am in need, when any of us is in need, we have only to ask and the loving guidance and protection of our saints, guides and angels are ours, instantly.
I hope this finds you well, warm and happy. Namaste'