Wednesday, December 17, 2008

May I Have Another Piece of Coal, Sir?

The Pellet Stove Guy is here. It's cold in my house. It's been cold since November when winter decided it had had enough of fall and kicked it to the curb and we discovered that somewhere between April and November our pellet stove developed quite an attitude.

So there's been no heat, and apparently it's a rash of attitudes because the Pellet Stove Guy was booked until February when I called. And apparently in all of Virginia, Maryland and DC there is only ONE Pellet Stove Guy. Bummer.

So I did my little happy dance last week when he called and said he could fit me in today. YAY! Except he has been here over three hours and can't figure out what was wrong. For two months it has refused to drop pellets. No pellets, no fire. Pellet Guy, in all his niceness, called and talked me through a diagnosis over the phone for an hour one Sunday in the hopes that we could get it working before we froze into Popsicles. No success. No pellets. So today he comes, turns it on and WaLa! Pellets. I could have strung it's little iron-pipe neck.

I write the check for Pellet Stove Guy's time, grimacing at having to pay over a hundred big ones in the thick of economically depressed Christmas season while we watch the stove happily spit pellets into a roaring fire and wait for the blower to kick on. Only it doesn't. Not after one hour. Not after two. Not after Pellet Stove Guy drives to the hardware store, gets a part, returns, installs it and finds out that's not the problem. So we got fire. But no heat. I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure this isn't the way it's suppose to work.

Now I am starving, because I had no breakfast and I'm not sure what the etiquette is for eating in front of Pellet Stove Guy (and his very nice wife who fetches tools and holds the flashlight). Am I under obligation to feed them too? And is that on the clock? I can't fix lunch and not invite them.... that goes against everything my mother taught me.

Sigh. Pretty soon I have to go pick up the kids. I'm pretty sure tonight is going to be cold in the house. And I'm hungry. It's starting to feel like I'm in an Oliver Twist novel.

And just yesterday it was a sci-fi book. In retrospect, my life is pretty interesting after all.


  1. LOL - I'm not laughing at your current misfortune of no heat, but the way you tell it.

    I'm from Louisiana/Texas - I have no idea what a pellet stove is, how that heats your home, but good luck.

  2. hey brit! a pellet stove looks like a wood stove (which is a big black iron box with a window). Instead of burning actual logs, you pour in these pellets which are actual logs mashed up into little pellets that look like tic tacs. the pellets drop into the stove (theoretically), catch fire, burn hot as hades and a blower blows the hot air out of the stove into the room (again, theoretically).

    It's a marvelous invention of man which takes the simplicity of burning fire and complicates it with all sorts of technology that employs lots of people who otherwise would be feeling the effects of the economic depression.

    I'm glad it made you laugh. I'm typing to keep my fingers from freezing.

  3. I'm cracking up too, and so glad that Brit asked the question first, because I had no idea either!

    Have you people never heard of a furnace??? It works like magic. I push the buttons on the thermostat and warm air blows out of the vents, and then my husband complains that I'm cold-blooded and turns it down again. (I think there may be elves or sprites involved in the technical aspect of it, but I can't be certain since I rarely venture out into the garage!).

  4. kimberly - yes, I have a thermostaty thing too. It apparently is hooked up to something called a meter, which is like a tattle tale because it sends a bill each month to my husband who then threatens to tear it out of the wall.

    I also, it would appear, am cold blooded.

    or home all day. Which my husband isn't since he goes to work in a very warm, government paid heated building. But seeing as he is earning the money to keep me in my cold, but sheltered, house, writing my fingers off for no pay at the moment, I shant complain. Much.

    well, okay, I will. but only good naturedly!

  5. So you have a thermostat too?

    I'm from the south - we don't have that stuff. I've had other people talk about getting their heating oil filled up to heat their house - again, I was like, "What?"

    Glad I'm not alone in the awe of the pellet stove. :D