The heat is on!

MY View


As of last Friday night, things got all warm and fuzzy around the McLoone Manor.

Well, it got warm at least. I’ve considered the last month as my version of camping. To refresh your memories, our boiler – her name was Bertha – fell ill and didn’t make it through. But, alas, Bertha was replaceable. We loved her and everything she did for us, but when it’s 50 degrees inside your house, there’s really no time to mourn.

If this was what camping really is, I could have probably handled it for another couple days. After all, there might not have been heat, but there was hot water, no bugs, it wasn’t dirty, there were no bugs, the fridge was full of everything I need, there was indoor plumbing and there were no bugs.

My wife led us through this phase where we were campers. She might have been a camper, but I was faking it. I may have had hiking boots and a flannel shirt and enjoyed a few beverages around the campfire, but I’d much, much rather sleep with a roof over my head. I like animals in a zoo, not roaming around me while I’m not sleeping, because I’m lying on the ground.

I learned at a young age that camping wasn’t in my genes. As a Scout, we were at some kind of camping event. After 24 hours of rain, I found a pay phone and got a ride home. A few years later, I realized I come from a long line of noncampers. When my younger brother was in the Scouts, my dad “asked” me if I’d take his place on the father-son camping trip.

“I don’t camp,” he said. So, my version of camping decades later was a month without heat in my home. It was, at times, quite cool. We had a couple electric heaters going, and they could keep about half of our lower level at about the 60-degree mark if they ran 24 hours a day. Everyone knows one of those people that sleep with the window open in the winter or has to have a fan blowing. I’m not one of them. I like it warm. I appreciate the advancement of indoor heating sources. And now I have one again. Aside from the price tag from this new system heating water and sending it through our home’s piping system to radiators, life is good. All is warm in our world.

And while we mourned the demise of Bertha, this new boiler is going to someday bid me farewell. It’s supposed to last 30-40 years, so if someone is looking out for me, we’ll have to see who outlives whom.

November 16, 2021