Apparently Autumn heard my previous post because she has finally arrived at long last. Missing a plethora of her usual glory, she is also undaunted, shown by knocking the breath out of me as I opened my front door yesterday. Hubby is out of town this week and so I dutifully checked the weather last night and switched the thermostat from "cool" over to "heat" when I saw that it was supposed to get down in the 40's and 50's overnight.
This morning I awoke at 8am to a toasty warm 61 degree house, after realizing I had nearly frozen to death last night. NOW what? My first thought was to make some coffee and dig my winter robe and slippers out of the back of my closet. Having accomplished that, somehow my thoughts ended up remembering that when the Great Summer Floor Disaster occurred, the commercial fans had blown out the pilot light on the water heater. Of course, it was summer then and we didn't think about the furnace pilot light.
Naturally, I'm scared to death of pilots and lights but especially when you put them together in a sentence. Admit it - you are too. All your life, they tell you NOT to put an open flame anywhere NEAR gas. It's a *bad*...no *very, very bad* combination. But Hubby is gone and I have a sick kiddo running a temp. The light had to be lit, without a pilot (save me), despite my fears.
I couldn't find the instructions on how to do it. FIL uses electric but offered to light it if I could find the instructions (what a sweet man). After quite a bit of searching around the furnace (where Hubby swore the manual was) and rummaging through the filing cabinet of important papers and a quick not-really-any-help call to Hubby, I was able to locate and print out the re-lighting instructions online (amazing what you can find online these days!?!). I debated asking FIL to do it for me but he's a 30 minute drive away and has, you know, a life of his own to live. I decided I needed to be brave and at least attempt to light the durned thing myself (and yes, I can use the word 'durned' because I was raised, for all intents and purposes, a Missouri hick - this is the one slang word I allow myself).
As I plodded back downstairs, I actually found the instruction manual attached to the side of the furnace (guess it doesn't take a genius to know what Freud would say about that). Turns out that it is a newer model and is one of those automatic ignition contraptions. So there was no match to light. PHEW! I simply turned the electric off to the unit, turned the gas switch to 'off', waited 5 minutes, turned it back to 'on' and turned the electric back on. Soon we had that nasty I-just-turned-the-furnace-on-for-the-first-time-this-year smell coming out of our vents. But even those simple steps were very scary. There were cautions and warnings all OVER the manual about 'if you smell natural gas' and 'if unit has been in contact with water' (hmmm...water on floors did drip in that area - how much water is a concern?), etc. I found my stomach in all kinds of knots.
I also found my baby laying right inside the front door of the house, just in case we (rather, the kids) had to make a very quick exit. It's ok - I can say it out loud. Ahem. "My name is Laurie and I'm a nut job who's afraid to light things. Think of me as an anti-pyromaniac". Starting our campfire last summer caused me more concern than the average person, I'm sure. I don't know where this fear came from - I have no scary childhood tales of bad fires or anything of the sort. Though perhaps my mother's fear of my father falling asleep while smoking and 'burning down the house while we are all sleeping' hit a target she wasn't quite aiming for. That one might have been left better unsaid to this child. =;0D
So, I will rest warm and snuggly tonight and I wish you all well-lit pilot lights that never go out.