A week before Christmas, on December 19th, our home heater died. We knew we were on borrowed time with it, but the serviceman who came out to get it ready for the approaching cold months thought we could get through one more winter. Two months in to the “Brrrrrr” its long reign of warmth was over.
Aside from the obvious financial and chilly repercussions for my husband and I, we needed to make sure Piper kept warm. Friends and family generously and sincerely offered for us to come stay with them, but when I tell you the gear required for a 90-gram bird is ridiculous I am downplaying it. We decided that remaining home was our best option. And so we enlisted a neighbor’s space heater and one of our own to keep the living room, where our little parrot resides, as close to its usual temperature as possible. Because we didn’t want to leave the space heaters running without one of us with them, we took turns sleeping on the couch and made sure one of us was always home. Since I can’t drive, I was pretty much grounded. Even though my husband was off from work for over a week due to the holiday, we were home almost the whole time. Together. For two weeks. Primarily in one room. The fact that this happened one month ago today and I am only now able to write about it should tell you something.
Despite all that was going on within our arctic home, a little event called Christmas was also occurring in the world. Santa waits for no one and it is a credit to my Type A/Planner/Anal Retentiveness that I had all gifts purchased, halls decked and cards done before the sh*t hit the heater. And, yes, I am tooting my own French horn.
The new heater was installed on December 30th. I am happy to report that during our Twelve Days Of Coldmas Piper stayed toasty and seemed completely nonplussed by neither the holidays nor the activity brought on by our heater’s final blow. As for my husband and I, we bundled up in layers and blankets. You haven’t really lived until you’ve slept with your hoodie tied so tight only your nose is uncovered.
We now have heat and my husband returned to work after the new year arrived. We really do take the luxuries for granted, not even realizing these everyday features that keep us comfortable are, indeed, extravagances we have come to expect. Until you’re running around with heavy-duty extension cords, checking your bird’s feet to make sure they are warm and living in very close quarters with your spouse of 25 years. If that’s not a Christmas story, I don’t know what is. Hallmark Channel: call me.