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By: Audrey Lintner

This past weekend was full of music. Larry and several of his friends played for a certain well-known festival at a local cider mill, and a good time was had by all. We ate far too many doughnuts, followed by far too much great German food at a restaurant. Since the weather outside was frightful to say the least, Larry and I were looking forward to getting home and cranking up the furnace for the first time this season.

After gathering Junior from Grandma and Grandpa's house, we hurried home and shivered our way inside. Larry cranked up the thermostat while I helped Junior out of his coat. Moments later, a glance at the temperature readout revealed something as chilling as the air outside.

"Um, Hon? The temperature just dropped. Do you hear the furnace?"

Scrambling up the ladder into the attic, Larry surveyed the huge metallic beast that (usually) heats our home during the winter. It was both hulking and silent. Ominous.

Being rational, Larry offered the suggestion that the pilot light or whatever creates heat in the furnace had simply gone out over the long months of disuse. Being less rational, I offered the suggestion that everything we own is crap, and that the miserable pile of garbage needed to be hauled away and blasted off the face of the earth.

Larry's reasoning prevailed, and I called in a work order for Monday.

After creating a knitted igloo by piling every available blanket on the bed, the three of us climbed in and slept.

I should clarify that statement. Larry slept like a log, while Junior slept like an eggbeater. I spent most of the night clinging to the very edge of the bed, getting fingers in my ear, feet on the back of my neck, and knees to the kidney that any street fighter would be proud of. It was a restless night.

As I'm writing this, it is Monday. With any luck, the repair dude will call soon. Heat and sanity will be restored, we will be free to cast off our polar coats in favor of plain old jeans and sweat shirts, and I will be able to take down the sign on the front door.

"Will Trade Cake For Furnace Repair."