This is my first winter in my new place. In October, it will actually be mine. I was excited to buy a place, in the right school district, because it meant I could build equity. Since I’m going to be here for the next 5 years or so, I thought it would be a good investment.
Two major winter storms later, and a couple of games of “Which pipes will freeze first?” I’m not so sure.
The first storm that hit, that famous (or infamous) polar vortex of a couple of weeks ago, caused us to lose water to the washing machine and the kitchen. Bathroom was still intact, no issues.
This one, that hit yesterday (and brought copious amounts of snow and freezing temps) caused the bathroom to go and the drain in the kitchen sink froze shut. So, toilet doesn’t refill, shower is out and kitchen sink is slowly filling up with the water that I’m dripping from the faucet to make sure we don’t freeze those pipes.
Did I mention, I live in a trailer?
My friend says the other day, “Didn’t you used to live in a trailer, when you were first married.”
Yup, sure did.
In SOUTH CAROLINA.
We didn’t have these issues down there. There were no freezing pipes or 5 feet of snow. There were no drains that froze shut or heaters that were inefficient.
Because it was South-Freaking-Carolina!
That brings me to another thing, my heater. As my neighbors keep assuring me, it’s new (like 2 years old). It’s an air conditioning/heating unit that sits outside of my house, like all air conditioners not placed in a window do. During the summer, it kept it cool enough for me and the kids and pets.
However, heating is a whole different deal.
The heater runs on liquid propane. A LOT of liquid propane. It’s a 90,000 BTU heater, so it eats liquid propane like kids eat candy. It’s ridiculous! In November, I literally burned up over $600 worth of liquid propane at the tune of almost $200 a week. With the thermostat set at 62. 62!!
So, I decided I couldn’t afford that (who can?), and bought 3 space heaters for us to use. One for each of the kids and one for me. Great plan, right? I figure it’ll kick my electric bill to summer time levels (about $200 a month) and I’ll just roll with it.
Little did I know….
You can only run two space heaters at a time, otherwise the fuse trips. So, I have become an expert on how to stay warm at night, while my children get to keep their space heaters on.
It’s pretty easy, actually. Layer the clothes, fuzzy socks, hat on head, three blankets on top of you, and cats positioned at various points around your body to offer soothing vibrations as they purr and valuable body heat.
This winter has been ridiculous.
But for all the inconvenience, the issues, the frozen pipes and frozen fingers, I am still so lucky to have a place that is mine. A roof over our head and temps inside that are 40 degrees warmer than outside. I have my kids and my health.
As much as I bitch and moan, I am very lucky.
Well, that is, unless the pipes burst. Then we’ll reevaluate that whole “lucky” position.