Konwing when to call for help

When youíre married to a military man, you have to learn to deal with a lot of problems on your own. I know Iíve mentioned on several occasions that Iím a big chicken who is afraid of the dark and sleeps with a hammer under her pillow, but aside from that, Iím usually pretty self -sufficient.

Over the three years Iíve been married, Iíve learned to use power tools, hang sheet rock, put down laminate flooring and deal with all of the household mishaps that occur on a day to day basis. After putting down a sub-floor in my garage and listening to my dad tell me how impressed he was, I was starting to get a little cocky, thinking there was no problem I couldnít take on all by myself.

I was wrong, and this weekend, the powers that be crushed my ego and showed me how that every now and then, you just need a little bit of help.

On Friday night, I got home from work and managed to make it into my house carrying an armful of groceries, a diaper bag containing something that felt like 800 bricks and an 18-month-old baby. (After doing this for the last year and a half, I should have the arms of a professional body builder.)

I stumbled through the front door and was greeted by an icy, arctic-like chill. I hurried to the thermostat, which was set at 70 degrees, and noticed that although the furnace was running, it was only approximately 45 degrees in the house. Cold air was streaming from the base boards and the house was only getting colder. I considered the potential problems and solutions.

Determined to solve the problem, I set the baby in his crib with his favorite book, grabbed my giant hammer (for protection, not repairs) and ran down the stairs and into my Blair Witch style basement. With the door propped open and every light that I could find turned on, I stared at the furnace, hoping I might be able to find some thing obvious, like a big hot-cold switch that was in the wrong position, but after staring like an idiot for a few minutes, I left the basement disappointed and cold.

After calling every furnace-repair place I could think of, which amounted to two calls, I decided I would have to think of a different way to heat the house for the night. I hurried next door to my dadís house and pillaged for something that might help. Armed with electric heaters and determination, I went back home. The heaters worked quickly to take the chill off. My baby fell asleep, and I began to clean so the person who eventually came to fix my furnace wouldnít see how trashed my house had gotten over the course of the week.

I didnít notice how dark and cold it had gotten for several minutes. Apparently, some homes are not equipped to deal with the extra electrical load that the heaters may cause. Now the power was out as well as the heat. I assumed the heaters had caused my breakers to switch off, and luckily, that was a problem that I definitely did know how to deal with. I hurried back to the basement and made it approximately half way across the insanely dark dirt floor before I thought I heard something scurry around and ran back upstairs. After two more attempts, which involved flashlights, glow-sticks and a possible Big Foot sighting, I gave up, and called my brother-in-law, who immediately came to the rescue.

Itís great to be independent, but for some things, I guess itís just better to ask for help and save yourself the headache.

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