Crazy weather and crazy week.[weather]greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I thought I'd drop in here and share the letter I wrote for one of my lists about my week. Please everyone be careful and be warm.
Perhaps you've all been wondering where I disappeared to. Well this was quite a week for us. I live in Oklahoma. We had a bad ice storm this week. The day after Christmas, my husband got up and turned the heater on before leaving for work, something I always ask him not to do. Shortly after he left I got up feeling fine, and went to the bathroom, grabbed a drink of water, and went back to bed. I couldn't sleep, and about two hours later my middle son came into bed complaining of feeling bad. My oldest had also gotten up early and and taken our dog out, went back to his bedroom, closed the door and read a book. Well after my middle son came to me I got up to take some medicine for a headache and realized I felt bad also. I just thought we were both coming down with something. As I lay there I got to feeling worse and worse. I then began calling my eldest son saying I felt bad. It took him awhile to hear me, but he eventually came out. Well he walked into the living room and realized than even though the floor furnace was on very high there was not much heat coming out. He also noticed there was air rising from it that wasn't warm. Not wanting to scare me he went out to chck the vents around the bottom of the house to see if they were iced over. Kenny then came back in and asked me if I was weak. I said yes. He asked me if I had a headache. I said yes. He then told me, "Mom I think there is Carbon Monoxide in here." . I immediately knew he was right. I told him we have to get out and said get the kids and I raced for the door knowing that I couldn't help my children If I didn't get some fresh air myself. I was feeling really bad. My little 3 year old daughter who had just woken up was the least affected next to my eldest and jumped up and said wait for me mommy. I instructed my son to make sure that every one got to the door. Within seconds there we all were huddled on the porch in twenty degree weather in our nightclothes. We were also breathing fresh clean air l;ike there was no tomorrow. My oldest son went and opened the back door, and I realizing the kids were going to freeze ran back in for some blankets. I wrapped the kids up all the while trying to keep from throwing up. My son brought me a skirt as I was only wearing a long nightshirt. I cried a little on my big 16 year olds shoulder, and told him thank you for listening to all my preaching about carbon monoxide. I had been worrying about that heater ever since we moved in and had been begging my husband to get a CO detector. he thought I was worrying about nothing. it wasn't long after standing on the porch before I realized that we had to get out of the cold and I ran barefooted out to my van with all the children across broken ice and started the van and loaded all the kids up. Everyone except my oldest and youngest was feeling pretty sick. My son in the meantime went to call emergency services. They soon came out and checked us over, and checked the house for gas leaks. Then they called someone out to check for carbon monoxide. The gas company soon came out and found that when the heater was on it was producing deadly levels. Praise the Lord God used my son to save me and my babies. We haven't lived here very long and I knew I needed to get the kids somewhere they could recuperate. One sweet little elderly woman had given me her phone number from the church we had decided to join. Hers was the only phone number I had. I called her up and asked If I could bring my ill children to her house. She said I could and I began to make plans to go. I called my husband and he told me to go deposit some checks that he had left for me so that I could feed the kids. I looked everywhere, but couldn't find the checks. I didn't have a cent in my purse and our bank accounts were drained because of christmas. Just at the moment I realized this the postwoman came with our mail. I took the mail and there was a $50 check from my aunt who has never given me money before for christmas. I thanked the Lord right then and there. I went to the bank, got the kids some food and drove out to the only person I could go to. I stayed there all afternoon until my husband got home from work. The roads were treacherous, but both my husband and I managed to navigate them the four miles to this lovely couples home. My six year old was the worsed affected and he was pretty much out of it until five oclock in the afternoon. He was the one closest to the vent. Both of my younger sons vomited. At five oclock my little boy suddenly smiled brightly and said "I'm hungry". The best words a frightened mother and new friend could hear. We gratefully fed him, and he ate heartily. Praise the Lord again. In the meantime the power went out at this couple's house. The couple offered to have us for the night but we refused, because my husband was afraid he wouldn't be able to get out to get to work the next morning. This is a decision we soon came to regret. However, we went home carefully along the ice covered streets. We dropped the kids off at the coldhouse and raced to get electric heaters at Walmart. They didn't have them. We drove on home and found to our horror that the power was now out and our children were sitting in the cold and the dark. It was then I began to get worried. We then called all the hotels in town and they were all full. Now I truly was concerned. There was a pastor however that visited us the week before and even though we had already made a decision to join another church, we called him because our own pastor was Iced in, in Arkansas. We were desperate, and this pastor allowed us to spend the night at the church, where we would have light and heat. The next day we began the search for someone to put in a new heater. By three o'clock, we nknew that we wouldn't get heat so we called and asked the couple from two days before, if we could take them up on their offer of a place tow stay. They agreed, and we went and spent the night. They had gas heat, but no lights and soon they also had no water, as the pumps that fed the city failed and every house in town was without water, including ours. We had a nice warm night and I brought my new CO detector along just in case. Finally yesterday our new heater was installed, the water came back on and tonight finally power has been restored. I am so thankful to God for his provision. So I am back, after learning many lessons about preparedness, and the fragility of life. I hope all of you are doing well, and I hope that each of you is warm and safe. this week I learned how much that means. God bless and keep you all. Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (email@example.com), December 31, 2000
Isn't God great? He has been providing for us in a similar way. My husband has been out of work for about 2months and when we were counting pennies to buy gas we would receive a check in the mail. Nothing big but enough. Well my husband finally found work. We were snowed in for about 2 weeks and without water for nearly 3 weeks. Our heating system doesn't work...I'm also pretty sure it leaks. We have been picking up deadfall to burn in the wood stove but frost still forms up on the INSIDE of the windows. We are fine...just getting a bit tougher and more determined to have ourselves in a better/more comfortable position come next year. This has definately been a motivational winter so far. I have faith that God will continue to watch over us and you too! I'm so glad ya'll made it through ok.
-- Amanda in Mo (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 01, 2001.
I'm so glad that things finally worked out for you. It has been a hard winter for many. Winters like this make me think of the ones who made it through 200 years ago, and longer. No forced heat of any kind, and not much in the way of good stoves. Drafty houses and whatever you grew in your garden last year.
I live in an old house built in 1870. It was a big house for the time, and it is quite drafty, I must say. We have big sheets of plastic stapled and taped around the entire bay window area. You can hear the wind whistle over the old fireplace on the north end of the house. We don't have lots of money, since I stay home with the baby and the house costs a lot to heat. We went without propane for a few days when it was close to zero just before christmas. Thankfully my father who owns the house bought us a tank of propane to give us time to work it into our finances for the rest of winter. Thanks be to God. We go through 100 gallons a week when it's 20 and below. Thanks about $150 with current prices. We are just making it, but thank goodness we making it. I worry so about those with even less than I. I'm so glad we garden and keep some bunnies, I don't know how we would do it otherwise. (Come on summer!)
-- Marty (Mrs.Puck@Excite.com), January 01, 2001.
That was way too close for comfort. Why don't husbands listen? Everyone PLEASE if you have a petroleum or wood heating or cooking system,make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector.They are so inexpensive,and as you can see,a live saver.Just as important as a smoke detector,which you should also have operating.
And thanks for letting us know and giving a warning.I"m glad all turned out fine,due in large part to your quick thinking.
-- sharon wt (email@example.com), January 01, 2001.
Lil Bit, Praise the Lord you are all ok! He does take care of His! It was so good to hear from you and I am truly sorry you and your family went through such an ordeal. At least you got a new friend out of it! I bought a carbon monoxide detector at the beginning of heating season this year even though my husband thought it was unnecessary. I feel much safer having one and a smoke detector too. I think they are both well worth the money. God bless you and your family and I hope things start getting better for you.
-- bwilliams (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 01, 2001.
Thank God you all are well. After hearing this I will be getting a CO detector, God is so good. You can see how He has been there with your family.
-- Judy (email@example.com), January 01, 2001.
Little Bit, I'm so glad to hear you and your family are all well. And second the above post about husband's not listening -- mine doesn't, either!! He's been on volunteer fire departments for years, and only replaced the battery in our smoke detector (which has been out for years) within the last couple of weeks. We still don't have a CO detector. But I'm going to make sure we get one!! We just had a chimney fire this morning, with bits of the flue liner flaking off because it was so hot, and the single clay flue tile on top of the chimney (placed up there to raise the chimney height and improve the draw) cracked clear through, so we won't be able to use our woodstove until we reline the chimney. Really we need to tear the old non- functioning fireplace out completely and replace it with a properly built chimney for the woodstove. Sigh. And we WERE prepared, with enough wood on hand to supplement the oil heat through probably most of the winter. Going to have to do something soon, before a power outage leaves us with no heat at all. But can't be burning the house down, either. We all are learning things, thankfully without lasting harm to our families!!
God bless and keep you, too, Little Bit.
-- Kathleen Sanderson in NH (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 01, 2001.
WOW! So glad that you and your loved ones are well now. What a frightening thing to go through, yet because of your post, think of all the rest of us who will run out and get CO2 monitors! "Ya done good".....God bless...
-- lesley (email@example.com), January 01, 2001.
Little Bit, Your post gave me a chill. I'm SO GLAD you and your family survived this ordeal. How scary. We also got a CO2 detector earlier this fall, after reading another post on the forum. Why we never bothered to have one before, I don't know. Got the kids one for thier houses, as well as smoke detectors, so there is no excuse for not having one ourselves. Now I am going to order something I saw in a catalog to put out a chimney fire. Looks like a flare, but you toss it in the woodstove, and it puts out the chimney fire by taking away all the oxygen. For $11, it could save the house. Thanks for posting, and God Bless. Jan
-- Jan in Colorado (Janice12@aol.com), January 01, 2001.
Floor furnaces! They are effecient heaters--usually 100% because they never seem to vent properly. This was the problem with yours. It wasn't burning properly [incomplete combustion causes CO] and certainly wasn't venting either. If either one had not been present it would've posed no problem---however---I've seen'm fail before. You're Blessed to be alive!!! I've preached for years about the benefits of smoke detectors/alarms and then the CO detectors when they became available. Many lifes have been save by them--EVERYBODY ought to have at least one. Welcome back Little Bit--you and your family! You've stood on deaths door and survived! Isn't God good!! Matt. 24:44
-- old hoot (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 01, 2001.
Thanks to all of you for your good wishes. I have to tell you, when all this was going on I was wishing that I could just sit down and talk to all of you. I am so grateful for God's protection of my family. I want to hold even more closely the small moments with my family. I write this with my daughter bouncing up and down next to me singing Row Row Your Boat. What a precious sound. Everyone, quick, go hug your kids.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (email@example.com), January 01, 2001.
Little Bit, heed Hoot and all of us here, God may save your soul, but a CO2 detector WILL save your lives!!! My grandparents, and then my aunt and uncle, almost perished due to faulty furnaces and clogged chimneys, CO2 detectors would have warned them all before the poison got to harmful levels. Get the kind that actually tell you the level of CO2, not just an alarm.
-- Annie Miller in SE OH (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001.