I’ve learned through experience that snow can be expected in Ottawa from Halloween on. Only a dusting landed here in the Banana Belt but it was enough to remind me that we were now in the zone and bad weather would become less of a possibility, and more of a probability, with each passing day. The kids pulled on long johns under their costumes and I mentally ran through the logistics of completing the final face of the house the next morning. By the close of Monday, Old Gal would have her own winter woollens in place, awaiting her lovely new dress and accessories.
Hydro disconnected promptly at 8:00am before I had time to throw the second pot of espresso on the stove. No big deal. I lit the side burner on the barbeque, but when I returned with the cafetiere, flames were shooting equally from the bottom as the top. Needless to say off went the burner and closed went the tank. There would be no caffe lattes for the crew today. I made a mental note to alert Husband that his ManCooker was malfunctioning.
Nick and Cory hopped on the ladders to strip the remaining face. Trevor, our electrician, went to work removing the electrical mast and installing an upgraded meter. Everyone knew they had a full and busy day ahead in order to complete the work for an end-of-day Hydro reconnect. My supporting roles would include The Lovely Assistant, clean-up crew, clock-watcher, building supply runner and Supervisor-Who-Asks-Annoying-and-Useless Questions. I felt discombobulated to be so unusually hands-off. I went off to rake up the leaves, clean out the shed and just let everything else work itself out to a successful conclusion.
The Hydro crew returned mid-afternoon to check on our progress. It was clear we were not even close to being ready for that reconnect. So our paperwork was transferred to “the trouble crew”, to be completed on the late shift. Nick and Cory wrapped up about five and headed home while Trevor hunkered down to finish before the pitch blackness descended. We broke for a candlelit dinner of KFC in a chilly house that was dropping by degrees. Trevor finally headed home and Husband prowled the house by flashlight to dig out a bottle of port and a couple of glasses.
I carried the candles upstairs and took to my bed with wooly socks, fleece robe wrapped over full clothes and a toque, looking vaguely like Ebenezer Scrooge. I was waiting for the ghost of house heating future and a glass of liquid warmth to descend upon me.
The port arrived about the same time as HydroOne. I sipped alone while Husband pulled back on his coat and boots. Although I couldn’t see them through my Typar-covered window, I could hear the linemen managing the reconnect by the light of their headlamps. I pulled the duvet up to my nose and waited for the inevitable sound of the house snapping back to life.
Too bad the crew arrived so soon.