Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Tale of the Furnace and the Harp

It all started on a frosty winter day in December. I had brought my harp down to Lyon & Healy (conveniently located right here in Chicago) for an overdue regulation. Regulation is where the technicians at Lyon & Healy check the harp over, adjust all the mechanical parts so they are working well and so the harp is in tune in all pedal positions, and change any strings that need changing (usually all the lower strings, the wire strings, are changed at this time). I love to look around the showroom when I am there, looking at all the lovely harps, dozens of them, and in particular, drooling over the Style 11 Gold Concert Grand with it's 1919 style, flower motifs, and all that gold! (Well I can dream can't I?!)

I happened to notice a large vent that appeared to be pouring out humidity into the room. I asked Steve, my favorite harp salesman who took care of my regulation details, if that was the case. He explained about the need for humidity for harps so that the wood does not get too dry, and reminded me to be sure our humidifier was on now that it was winter. I went home and asked Paul to have a look and turn it up.

This is where the trouble began, and what followed was almost a comedy of errors, with Paul realizing that the valve to the humidifier water was apparently clogged (he replaced it), me scheduling furnace maintenance on a Friday in January (never do that!), the repair company basically killing our furnace but refusing to do right after that, and us needing to replace the furnace and having to go the whole weekend without heat!

We were blessed with the following:
  1. A warm January for Chicago (meaning - temperatures about 25-30 degrees, as opposed to the below-zero January weather we often get).
  2. Two propane heaters that Paul and Robert used on Boy Scout camping trips. These heaters travelled about the house with us. In the sitting room and dining room during the day, upstairs at night.
  3. Our bathroom heater-fan (at least we were warm when we showered!).
  4. New electric blankets.
  5. A warm stove.
  6. The fireplace in our parlor. And Snugglewood.
  7. A temperature inside the house that stayed above 40 degrees even though it was much colder outside.
  8. Robert's friends, who let him sleepover all weekend, so we could shut off his room and not have to worry about heat in there.
  9. A heating pad, used to warm cold feet while watching TV, afghans for the rest of the body.
  10. Hot tea.
  11. An excellent experience with the Home Depot in Glenview - we went there on a Saturday afternoon and spoke with a really nice staff member, got a man to come give us an estimate at 5:00 that evening, got the new furnace installed Monday morning.
Finally the world has recalibrated itself, and we are warm and toasty, with humidifier working well. I sure hope my harp appreciates the trouble we went through!

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