The road trip may be over, but the fun's just starting!
The Sunday after we moved in, the previous owner came by to give us the grand tour. He showed us how to use the power generators and the Amish wood burning stove. He was as unsuccessful lighting the water heater as we were. In theory, the wood stove should heat the water, but I remained skeptical. After he left, Jeff and I headed back into town for errands, which included new phones due to our old carrier's rotten coverage on our mountain. I was finally able to talk to my parents.
Monday morning found us headed down the hill once again. On the way down we broke a chain. We collected it from off the driveway and continued down the hill. Jeff said he didn't like the way the brakes were responding afterwards. With our hearts in our throats we continued, praying like crazy, to the nearest gas station and asked for the nearest mechanic. After replacing two bottles of brake fluid, we rolled into an establishment and asked if somebody could make the repair while we waited. The gentleman behind the counter said he couldn't accommodate us, as he was expecting a customer with an appointment. He did go outside with Jeff, though, to take a quick peek. After a moment under the back of the truck, he shouted "Ah!" Then he pulled out a wrench, tightened a bolt, and reattached a dangling brake line. He crawled out from under the truck and announced that we were good to go. He didn't ask for a dime. Jeff did, however, slip him a couple of bills for his trouble. We were able to continue on to St. Maries, about an hour away, to pick up a chainsaw Jeff was eyeing. After our GPS got us lost, twice, we found the dealer and made our purchase. I was eager to get back on the road, as I didn't fancy chaining up the tires in the dark. We reached the driveway at about 3:30 and the sun had already started to set. The chains went on in record time, hallelujah, and we made it up the driveway just before it got dark.
Tuesday morning I was awakened by Jeff shouting from the front door that the power was out and to stay in bed until it was back up and running. Twist my arm. He fired up the generator and the lights flickered on for a minute or two. The generator began making weird noises, so Jeff turned it off. I started praying again. I got up and dressed in the pre-dawn light. When Jeff returned we sat at the kitchen table and discussed his findings. Armed with a walkie-talkie, he headed back out in the snow. He fired up the generator once more, flipped a few more switches, and voilà! The power came back on and held. After this victory, we headed out for yet another round of errands. On the way back, we pulled into the driveway before ours and introduced ourselves to our new neighbor, Giselle. She was able to provide us with the name of a snowplow driver so that we could clear the road, which hadn't been plowed in about four months. We exchanged numbers and were on our way once again.
We threw another chain on our way up the driveway! What wacky fun. We re-applied the chain and made it home though, with no damage to chain or truck this time. The sun was shining gloriously, charging the solar panels with a vengeance. I discovered to my delight, that the woodstove was indeed warming the water, albeit slowly. There was enough warm water for a shower, finally.
That evening Jeff was able to secure an appointment to have the driveway plowed. The first call didn't work out, as the driver refused to take his truck up our road. He did give us a referral for somebody else. Somebody with bigger equipment and more courage. YES!
More to follow in our next episode, Plowing and Plumbing!
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalms 20:7