On frigid weather and water mains

Technically, this is NOT my first post of 2018. It IS, however, the first one that I’ve put some effort into, so do me a favor and read it through to the end. And if it’s not too much to ask, you could also praise its virtues in the comments and share it widely across all of your social networks. WIDELY!

My ego knows no bounds, and apparently, this current cold snap doesn’t, either. Morning lows have been in the single digits for days now, with daytime highs struggling to make it into the 20s. Throw in an icy wind like the one about to blow in my front door as I write this and it’s suck-it-up bracing outside. It’s almost noon and the weather app on my phone says it feels like six degrees above zero. #Brrrr.

To be honest with you, though, I’m one of those weirdos who is happiest when it’s frigid. Winter coat weather makes for a much brisker and refreshing walk around the neighborhood with our big dog Rodney – and more rewarding, too, especially if there is chili simmering in the kitchen crock pot. It also makes it easier to shirk outside chores, but don’t tell my wife I said that.

In short, what I’m saying is this – I’d much rather shiver than sweat through the humidity of a West Virginia summer. But there are limits. And I reached mine on New Year’s Day.

My wife was the first to sound the alarm. Wrapped in only a towel after taking a shower, she cracked open our bedroom door and shouted down the hall, “What’s going on with the water?” When I asked what she meant, she shouted back that she barely had enough to get wet. The pressure was low.

I figured the extreme cold had something to do with it and said as much. But rather than stir myself from the warmth of my favorite chair to see if we had a broken pipe, I reached for my phone.

I almost never use Nextdoor, the app that links you to your neighbors. It generally just takes up space and I had been considering getting rid of it. On New Year’s Day, however, I thought I’d give it a shot.

I posted a message aimed at my neighbors asking if anyone else was having water pressure problems and got an almost immediate reply. A couple of others popped up within minutes, someone called the city’s Public Works Department and in short order word came back that a water main had burst.

One my neighbors pinpointed the break’s location for us. She wrote that it was right behind her house in the lower section of the neighborhood, near the wide open field where the neighborhood deer meet in warmer weather to plan their attacks on our gardens. She said her neighbor’s yard was flooded and that water was starting to inundate hers.

I found all this out never once having to stir from the warm embrace of my chair. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I had to get up when I misplaced the television remote control. Other than that, though, I remained in my comfort zone.

I did feel for the guys who had to work late into the night on a holiday, however. They worked for hours in frigid conditions better suited for polar bears. But they found the break and they fixed it. They should all get pay raises, or at least free hot chocolate for the rest of the winter.

Anyway, the water was back on at my house sometime before 3am. I know because I had to go to the bathroom right about that time.

To be on the safe side, my neighborhood remained under a boil water advisory for a while. And yes, it was inconvenient. But I figure if a water main break is all we have to contend with as a consequence of the arctic blast that has us in its grip, we’re doing fine.

Just try not to punch me in the face the next time I start going on about how I’m living my best life when it’s cold outside.

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3 thoughts on “On frigid weather and water mains

  1. i really enjoyed reading this, Giles. i’m from Kenya and i’m used to warmer weather than what we’re getting in Saudi Arabia right now. its also winter over here (its 16 °Celsius) and who knew that a desert country could get so cold? happy new year and God bless you and your family, and Rodney, too ❤

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