Hot water, a table, a bed

Last week’s cold blast has given way to temperatures in the 40s F, with a Tuesday forecast high of 55 F.

This house becomes more and more liveable. Late the week before last we got phone and cable Internet hooked up. No cable TV, for now, though. This is the first time we’ve had broadband at home, and man, is it nice to finally catch up with 2003.

Late last week we got hot running water. No, I have no plausible explanation for why that took us a month, nor for why it came in a week behind Internet. It would’ve been slightly sooner, probably, if we’d just gone down to Sears and picked out an electric tank heater and installed it ourselves, but instead we opted to shell out for an indirect tank system connected to the boiler that supplies our heat. (It was installed by the same guy who installed the boiler, some years ago, and who cleverly included fittings to facilitate the water heater installation someday.) You might think the first real shower in a month — we’d been heating water in a 20-quart stock pot and washing with that — would be great, and you’d be right, except it’s not just that: it’s the first satisfactory shower I’ve had at home in three and a half years. At the Parish house the shower has a temperature limiter that keeps the water at tepid or lower, and the plumbing is kind of wonky such that frequently the water temperature oscillates from hot to cold with a period of about a minute; even when it’s not doing that, if anyone runs water anywhere else in the house, the water temperature goes nuts. So while we were living there I took to taking baths in the nice big old clawfoot tub, which I’m going to miss.

The old tank, which kept popping its circuit breaker and which smelled of burnt resistor after I tried turning it on, is now disconnected but still in place in the basement. So we’ll have to drag it out and dispose of it, but then again, there’s about 30 years worth of junk in the basement we’re going to have to drag out and dispose of, so one hot water tank more or less won’t make much of a difference.

The new tank came in a big cardboard box, which Kenny likes.

Saturday we borrowed Heather’s dad’s pickup truck for a trip to Parish, and we brought back the first two items of furniture: the kitchen table and Kenny’s bed. Since the less-than-excellent kitchen table that had been here has been drafted for now into computer table duty, the presence of our table makes a great difference, and Kenny was really missing his bed. We’re missing ours, too, but it’ll have to wait. Meanwhile I’m impressed with our air mattress — not only is it still not bad sleeping on it after four weeks, it hasn’t needed pumping up again in that time. I’d much rather have the bed, but the air mattress has been working better than I expected.

Next up: fixing the oven. I think it just needs to be converted to natural gas, it having been set up for propane.

So we’re settling in. My old dialup account: cancelled. Our old phone number: cancelled. Newspaper subscription: cancelled. Mail: being forwarded. (And held at the post office — the mailbox here is down, and there’s a 4-foot pile of snow where the mailbox should go.) Address change forms: being filled out.

Also, this morning, I cancelled the AOL account Heather had been using — without having to threaten to maim anyone. It only took two phone calls. Fear me.


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