zero degrees celcius is cold without heat

        We got quite the cold reception upon our return home from our picture-perfect holiday in Colmar.

        At some point between noon Friday and 6pm Tuesday, the power went out in our house. Mind you, not in our neighbors’ houses, just ours. That means we got home to a giant fridge and freezer beeping at us to alert us that they were too warm, which we didn’t really need because an alert nose could detect the rotting food inside. And the house which is normally toasty warm thanks to the heated floors is now freezing cold. Freeeeeee-zing! I am sitting in my winter coat as I type, trying to keep the frost off my nose. (It’s a little like the old days in the newsroom…) Occasionally, you’ll find either Bill or me in the bathroom hugging the heated towel rack. It’s the only warm thing in the house. I tried to make hot tea but the induction cooktop won’t heat when the surface is nearly frozen. Bill gave me a wonderful one-cup-at-a-time coffee/tea maker which would brew tea for us if he’d gotten back to Carrefour to buy the little inserts. Drat that Carrefour!

        We had to toss our frozen pizzas and couldn’t boil water to make noodles – either would have been a fine dinner. We tried calling the pizza truck but when he didn’t answer after about 50 rings I got Bill to concede that he’s closed. At 9:00 I gave up on pretending that the stove would suddenly work or that food would magically appear on our table. We ended up driving to the McDonalds and eating there because at least it was warm. I’d told Kaitlyn that we’d go inside but she couldn’t go on the playland because it was closed at that time of night. Wouldn’t you know, someone was using the thing? Fortunately, she was too tired or still too frozen to put up much of a fight.

        Bill has tried to build a fire in the fireplace. The fire starter sticks burn great. But once those go out, so does the fire. And even when it is burning it isn’t giving off any significant heat. I don’t even think you could roast a marshmallow in there.

        Still, Kaitlyn wouldn’t let a little frost deter her from opening the pile of gifts that Santa had dropped off here for her. One of her favorites is the Play Doh Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop. She gives her customers haircuts, then holds up the little mirror that came with it and says “do you like it?” I’ve also learned that Strawberry Shortcake’s shoes do not fit any better than Barbie’s. And I tried not to act too alarmed when I found Kaitlyn undressing Cinderella’s Prince Charming. I told her it is too cold in the house for him to disrobe.

        Well, I’ll give the cold house credit for one thing. It helped me forget about how Bill was rather, uh, challenged by a toll booth and smacked my left front wheel right into a cement wall. I haven’t even looked at it. He pulled over right away and reports that he did take a “big chunk” out of the new wheel but the new snow tire sustained no damage. Thank goodness for some things.

        Now it’s off to bed. I wonder how many layers I’ll have to wear to get warm then stay warm enough to sleep. Last time I had to sleep in a house with no heat it was after an ice storm in Raleigh left us without power for nearly a week. I was 8 months pregnant then and never really felt too cold. Payback is not pleasant.

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