So the guy came out Saturday to look at the furnace, declared that the blower motor had burned out, and we'd have to wait until Monday to get a new one--it being Easter weekend and all. And that will be one finger and three toes for the good news.
Fortunately, this being the South, it wasn't miserably cold on Easter. Though we woke up to 55 degree temps in the house Sunday morning. By keeping a fire going in the traditional wood burning fireplace in the great room all day and having 17 people huddled in front of it drinking hot chocolate, we managed to get it to about 70 degrees. Warmer than we keep the thermostat.
We hid eggs, ate too much, including the cutest cake shaped like a lamb. It was red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, so looked just like lamb brains and innards when we cut into it. It inspired many gross comments, but tasted great!
So, while all the chaos was going on at our house, our cat, Dusty Cat, disappeared. He tends to do that when we have kids over (we don't have any of our own) or my parent's dog, Leroy, the killer shitz zu, visits, because he barks at Dusty. We couldn't find him Sunday night when we went to bed and usually he senses when everyone leaves and hurries home, but not always. So we weren't really worried. But yesterday it was cold outside and windy and he still didn't reappear. And we did begin to worry.
Meanwhile, a different guy from the heating and air company came to fix the blower motor and discovered that it was fine. The circuit board had actually burned up==he showed it to me. He managed to get the heat on, which the guy on Saturday should have been able to do, he said. But had to go back to the shop for the right part. So late yesterday afternoon, after shelling out the rest of my fingers, 2 arms and 3 legs (I had to get one of Chris's) we got heat. Just in time for sub-freezing temps last night! Yippy!
So last night as we were getting ready for bed, Chris tiptoed out in his jammies, bathrobe and stocking cap (he's got a shaved head) and heard Dusty meowing, faintly. Chris called me out and with flashlights we looked all around, listening to him cry, but he wasn't getting any closer.
Chris finally managed to catch Dusty's eyes in his flashlight--he was trapped in the crawlspace of our neighbors' house! They are adding a master bedroom to the front of their house, which faces the back of our house sort of catty-cornered. Their house is at the back of their 2-acre lot, across a small pond from us. So, it's a long way from our fence to their house. And because they aren't moved into the new bedroom yet, they couldn't hear Dusty crying.
We wandered over, me in my jammies and a coat, just to confirm that's where he was, and sure enough, we saw him looking out at us. But the door to their crawl space is right under their current bedroom window and we were afraid they'd shoot first and ask questions later if they heard people breaking into the crawl space at midnight. So, we walked back home and called the neighbors--all their lights were out, so it looked like they weren't up. Fortunately we know them very well.
Don met us at the crawl space door in his jammies and bathrobe and we got Dusty out of the crawl space. Don said Dusty had to have been in there since shortly after lunchtime on Sunday. That's when Don had noticed the door open and closed it. I swear Dusty had lost weight. He seemed lighter weight when I picked him up, which wasn't until we got to back to our house. He raced ahead of us, looking back every now and then to be sure we were coming. Soon as we opened the front door, he ran to his food and yowled for chow. Poor little guy.
This morning he was ready to go out again, but I couldn't do it. It's only 30 degrees here this morning and I didn't want to worry about him again!