|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 |
( 12/18/2007 07:00:00 AM ) Bill S.
GOD'S GAS: Things you learn living out in the country: as former cityfolk who were accustomed to getting their heat from Northern Illinois without much thinking about it (unless, of course, we happened to skip a bill payment), we'd never had the experience of getting our home warmed via a big ol' red-nosed tank of propane until now.
So this Saturday we go over to our landlady's to ask her how often the thing needs to be filled - or indeed, if there's any way of knowing when it needs to be filled since my initial inspections of the tank don't turn up a gauge. The gauge, we learn, is under the tank's red nose, and we should probably call the propane company when the needle approaches thirty. When we return to the tank, I open the nose and see that the needle has dipped below five! Not knowing how many days of heating this provides us - and establishing that the propane company doesn’t come out on Saturday - we go into gas conservation mode over the weekend. We turn the thermostat down to just below sixty, use the charcoal grill for Saturday and Sunday night dinners and microwave everything, plus take our showers at the neighboring hot mineral baths run by our landlady. This being Southern Arizona, the late night temp thankfully doesn't dip below thirty.
On Monday, the guys from the gas company come out and chastise us for letting the tank so low. We get charged an extra fifty bucks for a pressure check and vow to keep an eye on the tank from now on. As I type this in the pre-dawn morning, I can hear the furnace as it happily works to take the chill away. It's a comforting sound . . .