We had a new HVAC unit installed the other day. Central heat for the first time in six or seven years. We lost count because, being hardy Yankees, there weren't too many days in a Georgia winter that didn't make us scoff at the locals moaning about the weather. It took me a long time and a good sale to make the commitment, choose a contractor and get it done. He would have been very pleased with the job, as I am.
When we were first married Jimmy worked installing woodstoves and aftermarket fireplaces. This was during the seventies oil crisis and he could have worked 24/7 and not met the demand. His work was all about helping families keeping warm and being safe.
Our first house together was a vacation cottage so drafty the curtains never stopped moving. The furnace heated one room - the furnace closet. Without consulting the landlord, he installed a fireplace into the corner of the living room and finished the face of it to look like adobe. It had a mantel and hearth and it was a complete miracle to me. I also learned that fireplaces were mostly about ambiance. For real heat, he put in a little boxy woodstove in the back room. We were cozy. And when we moved, we took it all with us.
I can't help but think he's resting in peace now that I've accomplished this huge step in getting our house back to being a home even if it never was a big deal to either of us when he was still alive.
The furnace comes on with a whisper and each time I hear it, I imagine him grinning and saying, "Fuckin' A!"