Did you say “Furnace Filter”?

Sometimes I wish I lived in a hotel room.  You know, nothing to worry about, nothing to be responsible for. If something breaks down, just call the front desk and it all gets magically taken care of.

Of course for me it would have to be a hotel suite with a full kitchen because I love to cook.  And a baby grand of course just in case I was overcome with an urge to tickle the ivories and warble a tune.  But that’s all I’d need – truly.

It turns out, however, that I live in a house.  A house I bought with my ex-beau.  An old fixer-upper which has now been fixed up marvellously but you know what?  The old part remains.  This is my first time living in a century home, single or coupled.  And I’m pretty sure that with old, things just might break down far more often than with new.  This seems to be the case with me so I reckon it’ll be true for other old things.  I’m a little worried.

See, it looks like I’m going to win the house in the great dissolution of our relationship.  At the very least I’m going to win the living in the house and the maintenance of the house and the upkeep of the house and all of those other house responsibilities while I wait for the house to sell.  This may be awhile. I live in a small town and the market is pretty soft right now.

The big problem here is I have no idea how to change a furnace filter.  I’m pretty sure that up until five years ago I didn’t even know a furnace had a filter.  I probably didn’t even know what a furnace looked like.  Isn’t that a guy thing? So now I’m going to have to learn not only how to change a furnace filter but when to change a furnace filter.  And here’s the real kicker – the furnace is, as it turns out, in the basement.  In the basement of this old house.  And I’m not really a big fan of going in the basement.  I mean I will, to file boxes of Christmas decorations or fetch an old photo album, but who the heck knows what is lurking in the old basement of this old house?

Which brings us to my arch enemies.  Mice.  I have a ridiculously juvenile, stupid-girlie aversion to Mickey and his pals.  Especially when they opt to cohabitate with me.  In my old house.  The worst part is I can’t set a trap because who is going to empty it upon success?  Not I, guaranteed.  At my old (new) house, my dog once brought in a dead rodent to show off to mama and proudly dumped its slobbered-upon carcass on my kitchen floor.  I screamed very loudly for a very long time, all the while attempting to sweep the beast’s body back outside. Yet even while I was sweeping and screaming, there was a little voice inside my head whispering “Vickie, you are an idiot.”


My musophobia (really, that’s a word. I just looked it up) is deep-rooted.  In my childhood at the cottage we heard them running the rafters at night. I was always terrified one would land on my head.  Ah yes, childhood terrors.  Seriously, what are the odds?

Well … years ago, my ex-hubby and I built a house from scratch, and since he was doing a lot of the work himself (bless his handy heart) there was a “hole” in our ensuite wall for quite some time.  A hole which lead to the great outdoors.  Or more succinctly, invited the great outdoors in.  I  swore I could hear those critters dancing up a storm in the tub every night.

But hubs said I was nuts.  Yes, maybe, and that can be up for discussion in another blog.  Suffice to say here, one early morning I awoke to a somewhat wet and furry  greeting and assumed it was my dog, nosing me awake.   Nope.  It was a mouse.  On my FACE!

So … here I sit in my old house with no guy around to check traps and protect me from terror and you expect me to go into the dungeon to change the furnace filter?

Then there’s the yard.  It’s kind of big, which is great for my dog but he hasn’t quite mastered the lawnmower yet.  Am I supposed to push that damn thing around once a week, all summer long?  And come winter, shovel the snow out of the 4-car driveway?  Me with my poor compressed neck discs and aching back?  Are you feeling my pain yet?

We still haven’t discussed the hot tub. I do love this luxurious vessel of tranquility but I have no clue how to shock it or bleach it or season it or even empty it for that matter. Heck, I was doing all the cooking and dishwashing and food-shopping and laundry and stuff like that. I figured the least he could do was cut the grass, shovel the snow and shock the damn hot tub.

But now he ain’t here.  And I am, and no doubt will be for awhile, responsible adult that I am (trying to be).  So I will have to learn how to change the furnace filter, mow the grass (yes I will try) and if I’m still here when the snow falls, I will hire someone to clear the driveway. I will learn about the hot tub and deal with it, indeed I will learn about this old house and deal with whatever it offers up as best I can.

I am woman.  I am strong.  Hear me roar.

But I’m going to tell you right here, right now, that if Mickey and his pals show up, dead or alive, there will be no roar.  There will be a lot of screaming in this old house.  Because yes, I am still an idiot.

About winesoakedramblings - The Blog of Vickie van Dyke

Writing is therapy. Wine is therapy. Writing while drinking wine is the best therapy. Reading while drinking can also be fun. Listening while drinking is also fun so check out my podcast! And then there's that book (memoir) that I wrote: Confessions of a Potty-Mouthed Chef: How to Cheat, Eat and be Happy! My life has provided me with a wealth of inspiration. Maybe something here will inspire you too? ~Vickie
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4 Responses to Did you say “Furnace Filter”?

  1. jbwritergirl says:

    Nothin to it girlfriend. My father always used to say ‘if you own a house—you deserve it’! After also buying an old house (made new) I finally understood what he meant. Furnace filters are only a small part of nurturing an old house that is new. Get her done girl. Hugs!

  2. You need to move in with me. 🙂

  3. viola letto says:

    you are too funny Vickie you just made me laugh so hard….I know someone else who will scream at the sight of a mouse…Your buddy Justin, yes at 5’9 185 lbs..leg press 800 lbs…will scream and run at the sight of a mouse….so do not feel so bad you are NOT an idiot….and as far as all the other stuff goes….YOU CAN DO IT…..

  4. Bev says:

    Women ‘can’ do anything…..sometimes with a little help from their friends. On the mice thing.. just buy lots of traps and bait! 🙂 Thanks for the a.m. read

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