Home Columns My Garden of Life – Baby it’s cold outside….and inside

My Garden of Life – Baby it’s cold outside….and inside


Jody Fuller
By Jody Fuller

I mean, some things you just can’t make up. Well, technically, I guess you can, since you can make anything up, which is the whole point of being able to make things up, but, I digress.

Our house has a propane tank. This is the first year I’ve ever used a propane tank. Until this point, the only experience I had with a propane tank was riding one like a horse at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. Then, I’d take off like a spooked horse once the wasps had enough of me banging on the lid. They never got ahold of me. They were just letting me know.

We had 100 gallons put in the tank back in early November just before we came home from the hospital with our baby who, raise your hand if you’ve read it before, was born seven and a half weeks early in the back of an ambulance on Friday the 13th. That, again, is one of those things that can’t be made up. She is the most precious baby you will ever see in your life. Her mom is doing a fantastic job with her, while I take care of everything else around the house, like ensuring we have enough propane in our tank. Yeah, about that. What an epic fail.

So, I was working about forty minutes away at the home place on New Year’s Eve when Lucy texted me to tell me we were out of propane. How could this be possible? I thought 100 gallons would last the entire winter. Of course, I once thought Phenix City was the capital of Georgia, too. I hurried home to get it figured out. Surely, there was a mistake.

There was no mistake. We were out—of all days. It was not only a Sunday, but also the day before a federal holiday. To make matters worse, it’s the coldest week we’ve had in Alabama in years. I could be wrong on that, but it’s the coldest I can remember. How cold is it? Well, the proverbial well digger in Alaska immediately comes to mind.

I knew we couldn’t get service that day, and if we did, it would cost me my first born, and ain’t nobody taking my first born. She is ours forever. So, I went out and bought a couple of space heaters. I found them for a really good price, and they worked really well, but I could see the dollar bills burning as they warmed our home. We can’t put a price on taking care of our family, but those things increase the power bill exponentially. We have to do what he have to do.

I called our propane provider, Suburban Propane, on Tuesday. The customer service representative was so kind and sweet. You could tell she was most likely someone’s perfect grandma. You could just tell. Near the end of our conversation, she said it would be 3-5 business days before they could get out to fill our tank. I explained to her that we had a newborn at home. She said she couldn’t make any promises but that she’d do what she could. I could tell she was sincere.
They were at our home first thing Thursday morning. You talk about great customer service. We could not have been happier.

It took a while to light, because the tank was completely empty. It can take a while for gas to run through the line from the tank to the house. Our tank sits a good distance away from the house, too. I believe molasses would have moved faster than that gas that frigid morning. I won’t make that mistake again. Lesson learned. I’ll check my tank weekly to make sure we have an adequate supply. I encourage you to do the same. Learn from my mistake.

It never was that cold inside, because we already had a couple of smaller space heaters going, but it could have been frigid in our home in more ways than one.

Fortunately, we were able to get the situation resolved in a short amount of time. We also had places we could have gone. We don’t have everything we want, but we certainly have everything we need. The Good Lord is good to us.

Stay warm, friends.