Have you noticed my absence? I’ve been gone for a bit. At first, I was just lacking the motivation to write or do anything else creative. I didn’t stress over it. I just let it be.
Then 2 weeks ago, on Feb. 1, we were low on propane. Our propane heater is our primary source of heat. We use space heaters periodically, to help keep the chill down when it’s colder than usual. Our propane provider says to order when the tank reads 30%. They also say not to let the tank get below 10%, ever. And they have an attitude if you try to order when the tank is over 30%. So, knowing we were at 30%, Dad called in the order.
Since this particular company took over we hadn’t had a problem. The company prior to, is a different story. I thought I had blogged about the past incident but I couldn’t find it to link to it here. What happened with the prior company was that Dad didn’t order propane in time during the holiday season and were conserving propane until after the new year when they finally showed up to fill the tank. We were cold but we were not hit with a severe snow/ice storm that year. Unlike this year… You’ve most likely heard about the severe winter weather advisories for some of this country. That’s what we’re going through right now in SW Missouri!
Up until now, our current propane provider had been here within 2 or 3 days to fill our tank. I know they get busy during the winter months and with the road conditions right now, I can understand the delay…BUT we ordered on Feb. 1st. The roads were fine then. The weather was cold, but fine then.
Here we sit on Feb. 15th. Still waiting for propane. Our tank is now at 10%. We can’t use anymore. We have been using space heaters for the last week. Two space heaters, in the living room, to be exact. We can’t use more heaters because the idiot who built this house put almost everything on the same circuit as the kitchen so anytime we use something ‘extra’ that draws a lot of power, we blow a circuit. Even the toaster blows a circuit if too many things are going at the same time.
Here’s one heater. Look at the temp:
41 degrees, in the house, and just around the immediate vicinity of the heater. Can you imagine? The rest of the house is cold as ice! Unless, of course, you’re next to the other heater like poor Alice, who is disgusted with the present condition of her safe and warm home! This heater shows a higher temp because the photo was taken on Saturday when the sun was shining bright and the temp was a tiny bit higher outside.
As you can see, I have placed cat beds all around the heater so my poor babies can stay warm. As for Dad and I, we are bundled in layers of coats and sweaters, gloves and scarves, hoods and caps, blankets and throws. We are using heating pads. I had planned on buying a couple electric blankets, but didn’t get a chance before this winter storm. We aren’t getting deliveries of any kind at the moment because of the road conditions, but I will order the blankets soon. This bitter cold has played hell on my legs, my arthritis. For a couple of days, the pain in my legs hindered my ability to walk. I had to do something so – don’t laugh – I wrapped my legs with small fleece throws and used duct tape to secure them! This has helped my legs stay warmer and I can walk better. I am still not a happy camper!
Last Tuesday, Dad called the propane company to find out when they might be here to fill the tank. He had to leave a message. They called back on Wednesday and told us the truck would be here to fill our tank that day. They never showed! We kept calling and emailing the company, explaining that we have no propane and that one of us is elderly, the other disabled. They haven’t returned our calls or emails as of yet. Yesterday, I heard that the truck was in our area! It was nearly 5pm though and they hadn’t shown yet. I don’t know if they were actually in the area or not.
I’m really disgusted, and extremely cold…ANGRY even. I think if the propane companies can’t handle the demand during this time of year, then they should hire more drivers and/or get more trucks! I also think that since they know how unpredictable our weather can be here in the Ozarks, they should have trucks that are able to get on these roads during severe winter weather. As my grandmother used to say about businesses that fall short: “Shit or get off the pot!” I agree 100%.
We are looking into changing propane providers; some don’t serve our area and others will but only if a neighbor needs propane at the same time, IF there’s a neighbor with the same provider, that is. We also have to consider rent and other fees for hook up of a new tank, and the policies they have regarding keeping that tank filled.
I hope this will soon be another shit stain memory that we will never have to repeat. For now, we wait. We sit here, in the cold, waiting… I may not write again before we get propane. It’s just too damn cold.