A Cold Snap for Christmas
So do you remember the last few days before Christmas
of this past year when the temperature was frigid? This
is the time that my van stopped working. No matter what
Herman and Terry tried, the van wouldn’t start.
In fact, I had
to miss physical therapy one day because it was so cold
that the van wouldn’t run at all. Herman laid a
blanket across the engine, plugged in a light bulb under
the hood for warmth, and even put a trickle charger on
the battery, all to no avail. When it finally warmed up
to 20F, the next day, the van very unhappily started complete
with smoke, sputtering and threatening to quit at any
Herman left it
running for about an hour, until the smoke cleared and
the engine stopped chugging in labor. We then took it
for a spin to our local store here in Caroga Lake, called
Groom’s, and got a video and some gas treatment
to clean out the pipes or whatever. Herman had already
put dry gas in the day before in case there was any condensed
water in the fuel lines. Ah, what we put up with here
in the northeast.
daughter Hermanette came in from California for the holidays.
The day she left Los Angeles, it was 80F there. She said
that no matter how much clothing she puts on and no matter
how much she tries to prepare herself for the cold here,
it’s always a shock to her system. I’ve been
here ten years now, and the cold still gets to me.
both the wood stove and gas stove going when it starts
fluttering around zero. It still stays a bit chilly in
the back of the house where we sleep and where the porch
is, and we’ve had the added challenge of a stubborn
pilot light on the gas fireplace that keeps going out.
Pine Lake Stoves
has been out here several times to try to correct the
stove’s problems over the last few months. They
even called their factory technical support to try to
get the inside scoop on the problem. It’s a stumper.
We like the service man, Bob, but don’t want to
need to see him this often. As I sit here writing this
now, he has replaced the thermocouple switch, which Herman
tells me controls the pilot, and it is working better,
but still occasionally shuts off.
we have the wood stove, which we also got at Pine Lake
Stoves and we have our reliable wood supply man Al Gessinger,
who has made sure we stay well stocked up with wood. He,
like Herman, works several different jobs to get by, and
we’re glad one of those jobs is supplying our wood.
the rest of the winter won’t be as cold as it was
in December 2004. Think about it, we’re in the home
stretch. I can hardly wait for it to be beach weather
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting
career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance
writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns
may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com