Tag Archives: frozen pipes

Getting Back to Normal

19 Jul

Mary Ann, over at A Joyful Chaos, remarked that her life had been out of kilter for a while, and she hoped it soon got back to normal.

Sometimes you have to face the fact that, like it or not, whatever it is you have, it’s “normal”.

Back in September of 2015 I wrote about the day the pump froze solid. The house where we lived with the Late and Unlamented was built around 1850. When indoor plumbing was installed, the pump was placed in the old root cellar, where the temp was generally around 55°F. However, January 16, 1969 was the coldest day Baltimore had ever experienced since the Weather Bureau started keeping records. Something below 0°, and a wind-chill to freeze your gizzard. I was always the first one up, making coffee, getting half dressed, and then waking the girls and the L&U.

When I turned on the kitchen faucet, what came out was as dark as coffee. I ran the water until it was clear, and then filled the coffee pot. When I started to wash my dishes, there was no more water. I was able to drain enough from the water heater to fill a sauce pan, brought it to a boil, and managed to prime the pump outside the back door, and pumped enough water to get us through the morning.

The L&U got dressed, put on his house slippers and came down to fix his own breakfast. He opened the fridge and grabbed an egg, which he cracked on the side of the frying pan. Nothing came out. He looked and discovered he had a hard-boiled egg. He picked up another egg and the same thing happened. Muttering and cursing .

“Those are hard-boiled. Didn’t you notice the faces on them?”

“Yeah. I saw them. I figured you didn’t have anything to do and decorated the whole damned dozen.”

Cracks such as that can get a person killed, y’know, especially first thing in the morning. And after I’d been out in the cold pumping water at 7:00 AM.

When I went out to take the girls to the sitter and head to the office, my car wouldn’t go backwards. I figured it was stuck in the snow, and came back in to ask him to give it a shove. He went into the other room to change from house slippers to shoes – and when he bent over the back seam ripped out of his trousers.

More muttering. “I’ll be glad when things get back to normal around here.”

I didn’t bother to tell him this was an normal as it was going to get. We’d been married seven years at that point, so if he wasn’t used to it now, he’d never would be.



15 Feb

First time for everything.

Fr. M decided to cancel church services this morning. At 10:30 (right now) it has warmed up at bit; the temperature is 8F, with a wind chill of -14.  Last night when we went to bed, the wind chill was -27.  Our car won’t start, and the kitchen pipes are frozen. (We will NOT go into the numerous times I have suggested to The Squire that we wrap them with heat tape.) Fortunately, we still have running water in the bathroom, so we’ll manage.

Everything is sealed as tightly as possible, with a blanket over the kitchen door, and the dining room drapes shut and then pulled up and tucked into the window sill. That window is already triple-glazed, but you can still feel the cold reaching through the glass.  The thermostat is set on 70, but the dining room is only 61 degrees. We are ensconced in the den, with an electric heater running.

Last night, we turned the heat down to 63 when we went to bed, but because the furnace was chugging along trying to keep up, our bedroom got so hot I had to open the window!