I love Christmas. I hate disappointment. I hate to disappoint. I hate to disappoint anyone, but I really hate when it’s one of my kids.
It never seems to fail that something goes wrong during vacations or holidays – times when being in good health is necessary or times when a plumber, handyman or HVAC tech costs three times as much as the would on any given normal day. The furnace is on the fritz. Not normal.
This morning while running around the house I noticed that I felt a chill. A quick mental check followed: Feeling fine, not sick. Physical check: What’s the room temp?? Oh dear, 61 degrees and dropping. Remember, its Minnesota in December and it was -5 degrees outside at the time, so I had little to no hope.
I called my father-in-law who has some knowledge of HVAC. He was on my doorstep within twenty-five minutes (thank God). However, knowing me and my slight obsessiveness for well, all things, I had already lit a fire in the fireplace AND scheduled myself a service call with Dean’s Heating and Air Conditioning, just in case.
Thank you for calling Dean’s where its a great day. This is Heather. How may I help you?
First of all, it’s not a great day for me, Heather. It might be for you, especially if your tech makes it here for a minimum service call fee of $89 (which I did find reasonable, but I did not admit to Heather). Not to mention I assume you would have a fantastic day if you got to sell me a new furnace. Me, not so much. I might be calling back to cancel if we can get this thing working.
We did, and I did. Regrets…
We had very pleasant Christmas Eve celebrations first at my in-laws and then at my parent’s home. Seeing family was fantastic. The food was excellent everywhere, and the tres leches cake from Cafe Latte was totes amazeballs (is that what the under 25 set use these days to describe total greatness?). And everyone was fascinated with Colin’s Christmas wish – you know, the real live hedgehog.
Where do you get one? How big is it? How big does it get? What does it eat? How do you take care of it?
It came from Wildhearts Hedgehogs in southeastern MN. It is small now, but will grow to be about a pound. It eats cat food. For real. And you take care of it by gently playing with it, helping it socialize, bathing it, oh yeah, and by NOT letting its room temp drop below 72 degrees.
Why the 72 degree room temp, you ask? Well, they are desert animals and if their environment gets too cold they begin to enter false hibernation. This has the potential to be lethal to a hedgie. Excellent. This thing won’t be hard to take care of at all. Not at all.
Wouldn’t you know upon arriving home from Christmas eve events the house temp had once again dipped to 63 and was falling. The plan had been to get the boys in bed, play a little Santa and lastly run over to my sisters and retrieve the hog to place under the tree. Well now, that last part definitely can’t happen. How depressing would it be to have Colin open his falsely hibernating hedgehog, not to mention emotionally scarring for a hopeful six-year-old.
Brian worked hard to get the stupid furnace blowing, but we have a bad sensor (a problem previously encountered) and the wrong tools for the job. Brian is certainly skilled at his trade, but mechanical issues are neither his, nor my strong suit. At least he knows what tools would be needed in a given situation. Again, me, not so much. What do you mean you can’t use a regular screw diver (pointy or flat) instead of a socket something or other? Don’t they do the same thing? No? Fine.
The air is still chilly and we have no real way of doing much about it at 1:00am on Christmas. So now I arrive at the potential disappointment of my son when he eagerly runs toward the tree looking for his hedgehog, only to find it’s nowhere in sight. No cage, no wheel, no cat food. Bummer. The hog will have to remain in my sister’s toasty laundry room just a tiny bit longer.
What to do? I thought, searched, and came up with a reasonably decent solution, but we’ll have to see how it passes the sniff test in the morning. A small hedgehog toy, purchased at Pottery Barn Kids – meant for Colin but not in said situation. A box with holes, meant for the hedgehog who is not here. And a note from the Big Guy himself written in my rarely seen and incredibly terrible cursive.
Your house was too cold for the hedgehog I brought you so I sent him to Brooks’ house. He is in your aunt Elbee’s laundry room. You can meet him later today!
I think this whole situation qualifies as a HO! Oh-No moment in time.
I dread Colin’s reaction although I am sure he will be good-natured and excited to visit his new pet. I also, and more so, dread the call I might have to make in the morning. Thanks for calling Dean’s where it’s a great day.
HO! Oh-No it isn’t, Heather. I thought I told you that yesterday!
Hey! How did it go with the hedgehog?! Hope you had a great Christmas!
The furnace is still not working properly… Had someone here the better part of yesterday and it’s still cycling off and not coming back on. We will see. The hog remains at my sisters house for now!