We had our first little cold spell last week, and it kind of made me mad. I was still thinking about how I could fit in one more Mommy-Slushie-Float-On-A-Raft-In-The-Pool afternoon, when suddenly I woke up and had to wear a jacket and shoes that were not sandals. I cried a little bit, then decided I’d better crank up the heat and make sure everything was cozy for the guests coming in that evening.
As a good Innkeeper would do, I turned up the thermostat and then went from room to room adjusting the radiator knobs from Closed to Open to check that they were all working. It was very comforting physically and, oddly enough, emotionally, to feel the warm, lovely heat emanating from the nearly 100-year-old radiators: first Antebellum, then Elizabeth Ann, then Foxfire, then… nothing in Charleston. How many times can the story of one room not cooperating play out? I mean really.
But luckily for me I remembered a little bit about hot water heat from my last home, and knew that you had to “bleed” a radiator by turning something with a magical key to make all the air come out so its filled fully with the heated water. I messed around with the thing and it turned and hissed and hissed some more, but never got hot. In my cleverness, I amped up the electric bathroom heat, got out several down comforters, and decided that I could tout the Charleston as our most snuggly room at the Inn. The guests were very happy, as was I.
I knew I still had to find out what was wrong, but before I had to stoop to phoning my Secret Boyfriend Tom at Zimmerman Plumbing, I thought I’d ask my other Tom, who is the Inn’s all-around Maintenance Handyman Supreme. “Look,” I said to Supreme Tom, “I’ve been twisting this lever all over the place and all the thing does is hiss. I can’t get any heat out of it!!!!”
Supreme Tom looked. “Yeah, That’s to bleed it. Did you turn it on? The Open/Closed knob’s at the other end of the radiator.”
“Oh. Nuts.” I Opened it. It worked.
“Well,” Supreme Tom replied not even trying to cover his amusement, “at least you didn’t call Zimmerman’s!! Hahahah – that guy would think you’re on him like white on rice hahahaha!!” My relief was so great I was not even offended.
However, there’s some new house maintenance thing to learn every day, and I’m entertaining the thought that if I married a contractor or started dating someone with repair skills I could save myself some money and aggravation. I know, unlikely to saving money or aggravation, but all the same I poured myself a pina colada and penned this personal ad. And though I’m nobody’s poet, I thought it wasn’t half bad:
If you like fixing the plumbing and cleaning out all the drains
And the feel of the laundry and clearing snow from the lanes,
If you’ll thaw freezing pipes at midnight or on a cold winter’s day,
I will meet you on Tuesday. Bring your tools. Don’t complain.
I know! Sounds like dream job for some very, very lucky guy. Especially when you factor in that the winner would have access to more frittatas he could ever imagine. Who could ask for more?