We had a couple days here that were just crazy because of our arctic storm, and on those days, our furnace went out. At the peak, the outside temperatures were -33 Fahrenheit with the wind chill, and even with the heat running, the wind blew through our house like it was a wind tunnel. I really wasn't prepared to feel cold like that and now I know what it feels like on the summit of Mt. Everest during climbing season. It was actually colder here than the average summer temperatures there. That is crazy!
I bundled up and went outside to see what it felt like because I read a lot of books about mountain climbing. I walked to the back of the house to wipe snow off the gas and electric meters but realized that I had ventured too far. I couldn't breathe. I ran back to the house in a panic. There is no way to describe that kind of cold except to say that it was scary. Despite the many layers I wore, the cold bore through them instantly and I was shivering just a minute after being out. By the time I was indoors again, less than three minutes after stepping foot outside the door, my skin was icy cold to the touch everywhere. My chest hurt to take a breath for almost an hour. I realized how easy it would be for a person to perish, and hoped that nobody was stranded in their cars along the roadside. My thoughts went to the many homeless people who have no place to go, and I hoped that they were getting help. I noticed the stillness and quietness of the frigid night--not a car could be heard, and we live only 20 yards from a busy road. Surreal is the word that comes to mind.
We made it through that night unscathed but, after having the Consumer's Energy technician out to fix a leak at the meter the following night, our furnace went out. It was a night of hell, and the fault of the tech. He left air in the line, which triggered the furnace to shut off. After several calls to Consumer's they sent someone out, but he was rude and unkind--he said it was up to a furnace specialist to fix the issue. He wouldn't acknowledge that it was a Consumer's Energy problem. It all happened too late to call anyone, and we couldn't get in our car and drive anywhere because the roads were nothing but ice and non-essential driving was prohibited.
I looked like a giant marshmallow, all bundled up trying to stay warm. It wasn't easy. The thermostat read 43 degrees, but because our house is drafty, I believe it was colder than that. I stayed under the covers as much as possible until the furnace repairman arrived at noon the next day, but I couldn't sleep. I only got about 3 hours of sleep two nights in a row. We survived it but I was unable to paint. Now, two days later, I'm just not feeling up to it. I'm still catching up on much needed sleep and I feel drained.
I will also admit that I'm not enjoying the painting challenge. I feel forced and I'm not doing my best work. I also have a lot of joint pain and the daily painting is causing it to flare up. One morning I couldn't even move my wrist. I don't think that it's helping me to force out a painting a day, so I'm not going to spend the month doing it. Instead, I will paint what I want as I can, and take my time on the work so I feel a true sense of accomplishment.