My Husband Took a Vacation Without Me in Puerto Rico

29 Dec 2016 Karina S. Henkel

. . . and I had to deal with a broken furnace in Maine while it was 15° F (- 10° C) outside.

This is the first time that I ever had to deal with the furnace on my own. I have to admit that I apparently became one of these women who let their husbands take care of lots of stuff and who are then helpless when their husbands are not available. That is exactly how I felt when I came home last Friday and noticed that it was frigid in the house. The thermometer showed 46° F (8 C) inside, and I immediately knew that the furnace wasn’t doing it anymore. I felt absolutely helpless at first, but then decided to first get some warmth into the house before the pipes froze. I brought lots of wood from outside and started a fire in our wonderful woodstove. I heated water for my hot water bottle and then I tried to find the phone number from that company that had repaired our furnace before.

In the midst of all that, Andrew Facetimed me. I sat down right beside the roaring fire with the hot water bottle on my lap trying to look relaxed and cozy. I made sure that he wouldn’t notice how cold it still was in the house. He happily showed me his hotel room and the ocean view from his balcony. They had 75 F (24 C) in San Juan. Tomorrow, he said, it will go up to 85 F (30 C) and he was looking forward to jumping into the ocean.

I smiled while I was longing for my thick winter coat. But I couldn’t wear that coat as long as he was able to see me. I was not going to tell him that I was in trouble. This was his only vacation this year. For three days he wanted to relax and have fun and I was not going to ruin that. After he hung up I found the business card of the company that repaired our furnace once before stuck under a magnet on the refrigerator door.

I called them and two hours later they called me back, telling me that they were so busy right now that they could only come the next day. Apparently many furnaces broke during the first really cold days.

So I had to stay awake all night long to feed the fire and get more wood from the garage. I have never done that before, but I was grateful for the woodstove. After several hours I could keep the house at 70 F (21 C).

The next day the guys came and repaired the furnace. You really learn to appreciate a working furnace after a night like that. But then it started snowing. Another thing Andrew usually takes care of: snow blowing the driveway. I don’t mind doing that at all, but after a night without sleep and dealing with heavy snow I got a little cranky when Andrew texted me about his tropical adventures.

But how lucky we were that we didn't travel together this time. If I would have gone with him to Puerto Rico, all pipes would have been frozen by the time we got back.

So, after all, we were very lucky that I was here to take care of everything.