Sunday, December 11, 2016

Surviving Cold Winters Without Adequate Heat


One winter our furnace broke down in the middle of winter. We didn't have the money to get it fixed. We did not get it fixed until late the next winter. Each morning I would get up, put the kettle on for tea, fill the sinks with hot water, and bake something. We used a couple of little space heaters. I would bundle all the children up on the sofa or on my lap with blankets, and I would read. That was the time that I learned about the difference of being chilly and being dangerously cold.

I always said that I would find someplace to go if it got dangerously cold. I don't think it ever got below the upper fifties in the house even though it was quite cold outside. I cooked to keep warm. Those were lean times when there wasn't much to eat. I knew that if I didn't bake biscuits or something, we wouldn't eat. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't know how to make bread very well. I did learn to make biscuits and cornbread and all kinds of soups.

Oh, but the memories we made all snuggled up, drinking homemade cocoa, reading lots of books, and facing it all together. For the parents, it was a struggle to survive. For the children, it was an adventure.

You do what you've got to do. As President Teddy Roosevelt said, "Do what you can with what you've got where you are." The Missouri way of speaking would be, "Do whatcha can with whatcha got where you are."

Lord Jesus, please provide for my dear readers so that they have food to eat and are warm this winter. I ask it in Jesus Name according to your riches in glory. Amen.

Now, go read this post about Keeping Shivers at Bay for some practical tips.

Be blessed friend!
Mrs. Laura Lane

26 comments:

  1. Coming from the Art of Homemaking hop...I enjoyed reading this!

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  2. Amen, and Thank you Lord for your blessings, we stand in faith knowing that you will provide and sustain us.

    Thanks for sharing Laura.

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    1. Yes Kathryn. Thanks be to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ for His provision!
      Happy Christmas!

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  3. Hi Laura,

    I've been away from blogging for quite a while but wanted to pop in today for a catch up read.
    When we lived down in Texas we experienced an ice storm that produced a power outages for nearly a week in our area. We too were kept warm-ish with a gas space heater, hot soup, cocoa and homemade breads.
    Now that we live on the Montana prairie - those meager resources would never suffice. Two evenings ago our night time temps with wind chill was negative 27 degrees, while the daytime temps. were only 4 without wind chill. Those sorts of winter temps will plunge the interior of a house well below freezing (32 degrees) quickly.
    It is imperative that when one lives in an areas like ours, that we maintain a strict emergency fund for heating repairs. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important during a Montana winter than heat. Thus, noting, absolutely nothing, robs the heating emergency fund. For short temporary power outages we can get by with our fireplace, and three INDOOR propane space heaters. (please note: the one's we have are specifically designed for indoor use - one must be very careful to use only the sorts designed for indoor use, otherwise one will risk carbon monoxide poisoning & death).
    Many folks look at me as a pessimist because I have always been the sort who prepares for the worst and hopes for the best ... But I have always been the one my circle of acquaintances turn to for advice, shelter and supplies during Texas hurricanes, Montana blizzards, or a financial crisis.

    Take care my blogging friend. I pray you and your beautiful family enjoy a blessed Christ filled Christmas.

    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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    1. You are so right about the cold, Mrs. B. Southern Missouri and Montana are worlds apart. May God always provide adequate heat for your family's protection in Jesus' Name. Thanks so much for taking time to talk to me.
      Happy Christmas!

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  4. I had the same thing happen while renting - my furnace had a fire, and the absentee landlord hired a couple of scuzzballs who ransacked my home instead of fixing it. I spent a week washing soot off everything and was still finding soot inside boxes a couple years later!

    I spent that fall/winter/early spring huddled around a space heater, turning it off when I left and making sure the curtains were open to capture any sun for heat. I also cooked for warmth, and cooked warm things, and was lucky to have piles of blankets for the pets. Mostly, though, I closed off every room I could, layered on the clothes, and lived in the one room with the space heater. The pipes never froze, and we survived.

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  5. My friend,
    Thank you for inspiring me to be positive.
    You are an amazing mother!

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    1. You are too sweet Billie Jo! I struggle with it sometimes, too.

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  6. Bless your dear heart. What an ordeal you had to go through! But, oh, the precious memories your children must have of those times. I guarantee you they remember your love more than they remember being cold. Merry Christmas, sweet friend. :)

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    1. They must. They've never mentioned the cold again. Blessings! Laura

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  7. This was helpful and encouraging. I know some older people whose budgets are stretched thin, especially in the winter.

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    1. I know ours is. I don't know how older folks on fixed incomes do it. I think that they must live on prayer. Well, at times, we do too!

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  8. When we lived in the country, we had central heat but couldn't afford the propane to keep it running so we heated with a wood stove.
    Wood stoves put out lots of heat but they do take a lot of wood and tending to keep the fire burning. And wood stoves are messy and dirty.
    Like you say, we do what we have to do👍🏻

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    1. We have a woodstove, too. We hope to get it cleaned and checked soon.
      Blessings,
      Laura

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  9. Laura, God Bless you for your strength and tenacity to face with grace and dignity what to many would have been totally unbearable. You truly are an inspiration to me, thank you for the wonderful story. May your home be filled with Peace, Love and Joy...and warmth as well. God's grace, Karla

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  10. Thank you, Laura.
    I have experienced being without heat. Yes we made it through, but it was miserable. Our power rates have gone through the roof the last several years. I saw just last week, they want yet another rate adjustment.
    I wish I had kept my wood / coal stoves. Hindsight is often very revealing!
    I wil take your prayer as ablessing :)
    Add my roof to your prayer, we honestly do need a new one.
    Yes, it would help us stay warmer too!
    Thanks much!
    Hope you have a terrific week! Smile!

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    1. You are so right about hindsight. It helps us to prepare for and endure future troubles.
      Blessings!
      Laura

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  11. I have to start with saying that I jumped out of my seat (or in my case off the window seat) when I heard the sounds on your blog. I thought a bird had come down the chimney.

    In a recent blog post, I put a picture of me by our Charlie Brown Christmas tree when I was 22 years old and a newlywed. My daughter-in-law saw the pic and said I looked so happy. I told her that it was the worst Christmas in the 46 Steve and I have celebrated together. Steve was laid off on Christmas Eve, his father had died unexpectedly at Thanksgiving, and we were dirt poor. But despite all the setbacks, it was still a great Christmas because, "You do whatcha can with whatcha got where you are."

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    1. Sorry to frighten you! What a trouble a bird in the chimney would be!

      You're so right about doing with whatcha got. The sooner we embrace that, the happier we are I think.

      I'll be over for a visit in just a bit.
      Christmas blessings,
      Laura

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  12. Well, you are a prairie gal and staying warm and having wood stove always in working order, and wood stacked on the porch. We have had no power a few times. Being frugal and prepared this time of year. Merry Christmas dear🎄

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    1. We just got our wood stove cleaned. Hubby is trying to find more wood. Unfortunately, we weren't prepared this year. We're still trying to recover from the long period of unemployment. Trusting God in it all and doing the best we can!

      Hugs,
      Laura​

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  13. Laura, you are an amazing mother! You work wonders with whatever you have and make it an adventure for your children! Thanksfor sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. You're too sweet Jann. We do what we must. I do love being a stay-at-home mama. That helps.

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Hello! I love it when y'all talk back!

I read all the comments I receive. I'm taking a short spring break, so I will have a lot of messages when I get back online. If you would like a reply to your comment, please be sure to leave your email address and ask me for a response. I moderate all comments, so it your comments won't show on the blog until I get back in the swing of things.

Thanks so much for your patience!

It will be good for me to unplug for a bit. Know what I mean?
Be blessed!
Laura