Jesus was cold in the manger, but He was chill.

Our furnace died on Christmas Eve Eve.

I didn’t write about it at the time because I was having a full-blown mental breakdown: 1 half Zoloft withdrawal, 1 half “It’s a year-old furnace, you furnace people have already been at my house 47 hours this month and if you don’t get the temp in my house above 55 degrees right this damned minute, I will rip off your heads and 8-pound, 6-ounce Baby Jesus in his golden fleece diaper would approve!”

Ahem. I was really feeling the Christmas spirit.

See, I still had PTSD from the furnace dying and it taking a few days and several visits from the admittedly very nice furnace dudes to get it back up and running. So, when My Guy and I discovered a mere 12 hours before our scheduled departure for holiday fun that the furnace had died again?

Well, I kind of lost my mind. I couldn’t go to bed because I was pacing and yelling. I would make a great basketball coach – turns out, I’m really good at pacing and yelling. I wasn’t mad at the furnace guys. I was just … cold. I was cold, and exhausted, and depressed, and the possibility of us being late for Christmas with my family or missing it all together just pushed me over the edge.

I left a rather strangled voicemail for the furnace company at 10 p.m. They called me back at 6:45 a.m. Christmas Eve and said they’d be by in a few hours.

Fine. The temperature in the house was a balmy 56. I refused to get out of bed.

Finally, the furnace guys came, literally 3 wise men bearing gifts. They felt so bad about our run of bad HVAC luck that they brought us a Hickory Farms gift box. I’m pretty sure it was regifted and meat in casings generally heebs me out, but it was awesome. It made something shift within my angry little heart.

The wise men did a temporary fix that enabled us to leave without fear of our pipes freezing. I didn’t have to rip off anybody’s head. And while we were standing around the basement, waiting for the furnace to kick in again, 1 of the 3 wise men turned to the newbie of the group. “Look at that duct work,” he said, pointing to the basement ceiling. “Look at how they (something technical) and (something else technical). It’s a work of art. I love these old homes. They did it right.”

Dammit. That was when all the wrath drained out of my cold little body.

The wise men viewed our misbehaving furnace as their personal challenge, and they were kind even in the face of my fake-nice crankiness. And they were clearly passionate about what they do. I am such a sucker for people who are passionate. Being nerdy isn’t bad – it’s awesome. I can’t think of anything sadder than not having at least 1 thing that gets you excited, whether it’s computer code or duct work.

So, the furnace worked, and I got a much-needed attitude adjustment, and we celebrated Jesus’ birthday by sledding in my parents’ front yard and I bruised up both my knees so badly that they are still tender 4 weeks later.

And it’s all good. Merry belated Christmas, my friends.

And to the freakin’ spammers who comment any time I post about my furnace? Please, give it a rest. I’m not gonna click through your link, and, clearly, I’m very happy with my HVAC servicepeople. I mean, c’mon – they even have their own Christmas carol.

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  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin January 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Yeah, I'd have choked back my rage, too, under the circumstances. And they DID rush over to help, bless 'em. So, you applying for any coaching jobs this spring?

  • Reply Cassi Renee January 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I totally agree, that whether you're a surgeon or a construction worker, being passionate about what you do makes you so much more interesting and nice.

    Seems like it's always really about people.

  • Reply smalltownme January 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Happy ending!

  • Reply Rainbow Motel January 26, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Totally get this. Totally.

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