I love fall. I really do. The trees changing colors, the nip to the air…even the first frost which sends all of Summer’s biting insects into netherworlds. I love harvesting the apples off the trees in back and I even like making applesauce. I love snuggling under quilts.
What I do not love…is starting the dad-blasted furnace.
As you can see, it is a floor furnace. It is only going into its second year of use here in the Suziland cottage, but it (like all its evil kind) is annoying in its inability to easily light the pilot and have it stay lit.
First, that heavy looking grate on top has to be removed. It takes a special heavy wrought iron tool which must be jammed into the edge and shoved upwards…then grabbed by someone MUCH stronger than me to lift it off completely. And of course, it is just me, a couple of dogs and two worthless cats whenever it needs to be done.
After wedging the tool under the frame, I had to practically sit on the blasted thing before I could wedge something under the grate to get it off (the something was my now brightly colored swelling hand). I managed to get the grate off and to the side….. all my muttering, yowching and swearing brought both cats in to watch mommy while she destroyed the house.
Cats, being curious creatures, decided to investigate the floor furnace while I went off in search of band-aids.
When I got back into the room, both cats were inside the furnace.
It took at least 15 minutes and a can of tuna to get them back out again.
I turned the wall thingy (you know the thing that has temperatures and goes on and off for no reason) down to its lowest setting and got down onto the floor so I could turn on the gas. This furnace takes a metal “key” to turn the gas on……you have to press the key down, then give it a half turn then push a HUGE red button to light the pilot. The instructions (which I do read each and every time) said to “hold down the key for one minute after pushing the red button”.
ONE minute. If the pilot goes out, repeat all steps. ONE MINUTE.
Forty-five minutes and 72 tries later, my hand felt as if it were about to fall off my wrist from the pressure that has to be used to push in that dad-gummed key!
I discovered on try number 73 that it takes NINE minutes of holding down that blasted key for the pilot to decide to remain on! NINE MINUTES!
The thing set up a cacophony of clicks, clatters and screeches that made my teeth hurt, but at least it is working.
Then I had to get up off the floor.
Now, remember I am an old fart that has been sitting on a COLD floor for over 45 minutes when I attempted to get up….and there is a ginormous hole in the floor directly in front of me where the floor furnace sits………….
One leg slid into the hole while I was grabbing for a wall to provide some balance and security for my rising attempt. After managing to remove my leg (from the hole, not my body….although I thought about it) I managed to scoot backward far enough away from the furnace yet close enough to the wall to inch my way back into a standing position.
I only dropped the grate on my foot once during its positioning over the furnace……………although I did drop it on the floor three times before managing to complete this operation.
The wall thingy has been set and I don’t have to think about the furnace until it is time to turn it off again.
Or, I could just leave the stupid thing on all summer. It is a definite possibility.