We’re fixing up a rental house in a town about 90 miles from home. My husband is Mr. Construction, very practical, and if it’s related to buildings, he knows it. Did I mention that he's is in Mexico on a mission trip?
Did I mention the furnace in this rental house? It keeps going out so we show up to a cold house.
“Do you want me to tell you how to light the pilot?” he asked on our phone call a few nights ago.
Of course. I’m on this rental-house-fixing-up team and want to get a lot done while he’s gone. I take mental notes as he describes the process.
Did I mention that I’m a visual learner? I’m trying to visualize the process, because it isn’t a normal pilot-light process. I know that process. Well, I did know before we got married. I haven’t lit a furnace since. But I could, I’m sure.
After entering the cold house, I went confidently down to the basement. He’d be proud: I’d even remembered the matches. I found the auto/manual button just as he’d said.
Hold on a second. There isn’t some pilot-light police that you’ll be reporting this to, is there? Do not read on if you’re of that bend. Pretend I called the $75/hour guys at the hardware store. (Did I mention that I’m cheap, too?)
OK, I turned the manual button and I heard the gas hiss just like he said. Great! All according to plan. I struck the match, lit some newspaper so I didn’t have to get too close, and pushed the flame into the furnace.
BOOM! There was a flash of flame and then quiet.
Yes! That pesky pilot light was dancing away. You see? I’m pretty capable.
While I’m thinking how well I can help out in this whole maintenance area, my kids come rushing down. They’d heard the noise and expected to find me pasted to the back wall, smoke oozing from my ears.
Assured I was fine, and very capable of lighting a silly little pilot light, they started giggling. Seems I had this frizzled curly hair on the side of my head. And then I noticed that my left hand had these slightly red spots, like a light sunburn.
A pilot light burn.
I’ll tell him tonight. He’ll be concerned and relieved I’m still alive.
That’s the value of marriage. I might think I’m this independent, capable partner but where would I be without him? He doesn’t write stories but he can light a furnace.
I’ve heard feminists declare that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. I’m pretty independent and adventurous, but I can tell them that their fish never knows when it might need a bicycle.
Tomorrow: shopping for drills