Sunday afternoon our house suddenly filled with smoke. I was in my bedroom watching TV and blogging when my daughter came running in and said, “The roof is on fire!” I quickly ran out while she was on the phone calling the fire department. I got outside and into the backyard and my son was on the roof already with a water hose hosing down our swamp cooler. The motor had caught on fire! Thank goodness the smoke alerted us.
By the time I got to the backyard I could already hear the fire truck sirens. I believe one of our neighbors must have seen the fire and called them because they were on their way before my daughter called them.
Shafter PD was the first to arrive and the two officers quickly ran inside to make sure no one was inside. I thought it was weird that they opened the doors to all the rooms and I didn’t understand until later that they were making sure no one was inside in case the fire was worse.
Then the fire department arrived and they quickly got on the roof and told my son to get down in case the roof collapsed or worse, yet they stayed up there. They were up there in full gear, boots and jackets and hats with tanks hanging on their backs in 105 degree heat! I wish I could have thought to take a picture but I had left my phone inside and they wouldn’t let us go back into the house until they were sure it was safe.
And…as if that was not enough, Sunday was the beginning of a heat wave in our neck of the woods! Seriously it’s been over 100 degrees every single day and Monday was 109! So here we are, with no type of cooling system and a heat wave on the way!
I have a small window air conditioning unit in my bedroom, so I was ok, but the rest of my family had to scatter to the winds. My mom went to stay with her sister and my daughter went to stay with my brother’s family, along with our sweet little puppy Chorizo. My son chose to stay and tough it out at home.
Monday morning it was time to start shopping around for a new swamp cooler. Swamp coolers work very well in the dry heat that we have. There are maybe 3 or 4 really humid days per year where it is useless so I opt for a cooler rather than an AC unit because of the savings. My cooling bill is around $130 a month whereas a friend of mine pays $400 to $600 a month since she has an AC unit. I think we can suffer through 3 or 4 humid days and just be comfortable instead of cold the rest of the time.
The biggest problem is that no one is buying swamp coolers much anymore so they are not as readily available. There are just two companies in my area that everyone referred me too. One was Econo Air and the other was Floyds Stores. Mom and dad had always bought their cooler at Floyds but I figured that since Floyds is a small town hardware store they would be much more expensive than a big company like Econo Air. Wrong! Econo Air was $2,020 more than Floyds for the exact same unit! That is just crazy.
Then this morning I set up the appointment for Floyds to come out on Friday morning and do the install and I asked the billing lady if she wanted my bank info or a credit card and she said, “no, it’s ok, just give the installer a check when he comes out or if you want you can pay by the invoice I am sending you in the mail.” Who does that anymore? Who doesn’t worry about collecting money first? I didn’t need to give them 1001 personal and financial details; they just took my word for it that I would pay the bill! Floyds is my new go-to store for anything from now on!
Because of all the stress my Sciatica kicked in this morning with a huge painful twinge to my left “ahem” buttock. That’s why I say, "when it rains it pours"! But I made it to work and I’ve still been doing my exercises at work during break and lunch, just not pushing myself. So my little family will have to stay scattered to the winds until Friday when we can all be reunited.
The Shafter Police Department and the Kern County Fire Department have my eternal gratitude for being so quick and helpful and patient. My thanks also to Floyds Stores for continuing to be the home town hardware store they claim to be on their advertisement…bigger isn’t always better.