I'm cranky for a lot of reasons.
Let's start with number one: since the winter solstice, we have had two weeks without heat. We had a day and a half in between the weeks. An ice storm knocked out our power completely starting on December 22nd, so we could not have the traditional Christmas Day family gathering here. Our daughter was a gracious hostess and her husband a gracious host for dinner that day, so it's not as if we didn't have Christmas. It was just unexpected, and at least one of the grandkids was quite disappointed about not coming to Nana and Pop's house.
We live in a rural area, so we rely on a well for our water, a well that uses a pump powered by electricity. Thus we had no running water for about a week. Not fun. We tried to keep it in perspective, though, thinking about people with no roof over their heads. And we do have a generator, so we kept our freezers and refrigerators running throughout. We lit up the Christmas tree in the evenings. We have a propane space heater that puts out a lot of heat, so we didn't freeze, and for a couple of nights the bedroom gas fireplace worked. Then it quit, and we slept on the sofa and loveseat in the living room after that.
We'd been hoping to have an extended family get-together here on the 29th, but due to the power outage, we had to cancel. That was after cancelling once before because we were both sick.
A day and a half after power was restored, we got up to a cold house: the furnace had broken down. That was a week ago today. Having electricity is good, though. We bought a couple of small electric space heaters and use one in the bathroom so we can take showers without freezing to death. We had bought a queen-size inflatable bed last summer (which we had completely forgotten about during the ice storm) , thinking we might have overnight guests who would need it, so we put that up in the living room. Our kitchen and living area are contiguous and the propane heater, plus one electric heater, do a good job of keeping the temperature in the 60s. Of course we are spending a lot on propane, but what are you gonna do?
And now we've had about 15 inches of new snow, complete with wind and some pretty hefty drifts, and plummeting temperatures. Still waiting for the new motor that will at least temporarily repair our furnace. But we may very well have to get a new furnace this year. Neither of us wanted to try having a replacement installed in the winter.
We had hoped to have our son and his significant other over on Sunday, but with the snow and the distance they have to travel, we cancelled out of fears about the road conditions.
So nobody has seen our tree or the Dickens village or the cedar roping except us and the furnace repairman. It's a lovely tree, too, twelve and a half feet tall and, if I do say so myself, beautifully decorated--not designer decorated, but eclectically decorated. The grandkids did not get to snag the candy canes off the branches or find the ornaments they particularly like. Disappointing.
Of course we are quite privileged, regardless of inconveniences, compared to so many who have been living in terrible circumstances, often due to economic policies that are hurting untold numbers of people. We try to keep that in mind.
But being human, we still piss and moan.