Home Alone - Part 1

Kanti and I were left alone for several days while Greg went carousing through the Kootenays with the boys on a mission to hit very small white balls into very small holes situated in vast expanses of manicured grass.  The first day of aloneness went quite well.  The sun shone, it was a wonderful summery day, and the family showed up for dinner which was mildly chaotic in a good way.  Kanti was overjoyed to have Doozer to play with after a two-week vacation, so we had dogs racing this way and that through the visitors' legs.  Kanti even forgot for a few hours, that she mopes when Greg is gone.  It was a good evening, but nightfall was coming.

That night the thunder and the lightening crashed and flashed across the swake with such force that I wasn't sure whether to get up and check the weather warnings or put my head under the pillow and hope it all turned out okay.  I went with the latter option mostly because I turn into a chicken at night and when my head is under my pillow somehow nothing seems quite as scary.  Once the storm passed I fell into a fitful sleep that was interrupted about five times by the power going off and coming back on.  You see, our smoke detectors are wired into the house and when the power goes off they switch to battery backup followed by a really loud warning beep and a verbal announcement that, "power has been interrupted".  If by chance you manage to sleep through the first beep, you will surely be startled awake by the gut wrenching fear of knowing you should be alone in the house but you have just heard a lady's voice.  And, yes this happened not once but five times in the first night which left me ill-equipped to handle Monday.

Sometime between the storm and Monday morning I managed to fall soundly asleep only to wake with the premonition of having over slept.  All those power surges had rendered the alarm clock useless and I was late.  Kanti survived the commotion of the storm quite well and came out of her dog house on Monday morning with tail wagging.  Together we went through the usual morning routine of breakfast and getting ready for the work week.  Off I went to a great Monday of sitting on the eighteenth hole of the Caritas Foundation golf tournament with Father Mike, asking the golfers for their money to support a great cause.  I was really relieved that I didn't have to do anything too intellectually taxing since I was a little pooped from the excitement of the storm.  By seven on Monday night I was more than ready to get home again and looking forward to a relaxing evening.

Kanti was waiting at the corner of the driveway wondering why her supper was delayed and where the owners of the swake were.  I fed her and then tried to wash my hands in hot water before dealing with my own supper.  That's when things got interesting.  There was no hot water.  Meanwhile, there had been a text from my loving spouse that read, "how's Kanti doing?  what about you?"  His first concern and question was about Kanti not about his wife of thirty some years.  Time for a deep breath.  I took the high road with the return text and then pulled out the boiler manuals, flipping to the trouble shooting section.  Those damn manuals are not written for the novice.  Nowhere in the trouble shooting section did it have a heading "no hot water".  But being somewhat determined, I read about the red screen that would flash warnings and the magic reset button.  It was nearly dark by this time, and armed with my limited knowledge I pondered whether I should tackle the boiler room at night.

The boiler room is a room within a room in the basement that is filled with pipes and wires and things that make unusual noises.  I don't like the boiler room.  I find it scarier than the scariest thunderstorm.  Add the night time chicken factor to the equation and I was seriously considering living with out hot water until Greg returned in a few days.  Yes, I weighed the advantages of avoiding the boiler room against the discomfort of freezing cold showers.

Next week I'll tell you the rest of the story -