I went to visit my grandparents recently.
They live back in my hometown.
I grew up in the north where the winters are brutal and it’s pretty much cold for about eight months out of the year. My grandparents have been used to this sort of climate pretty much their whole life. Anyway, it was just before Christmas when I came to visit them. Mom would also stop in to say hello a few times while I was there. When I stepped through the threshold of their doorway, the last thing that I expected to discover was that it was freezing inside. I thought that it would be nice and toasty inside, and there would be something bubbling on the stove for dinner just like all the times I visited during the winter growing up. Both Grandma and Grandpa were bundled up in several layers of clothing. When Grandpa shook my hand it was freezing cold and covered in grease. He had been slaving away in an attempt to get the furnace to work. Grandpa was always a handyman, but this seems like a job that was beyond his expertise. Grandma mentioned that he had been stubborn about calling an HVAC technician. Now with both me and Grandma urging him, he finally decided to make the call. Grandpa comes from a time when a man knew how to work with his hands, and admitting that he didn’t have what it took to fix his own furnace hurt his pride. However, we desperately needed heat, so I was thankful that the HVAC technician was coming out the following afternoon. In the meantime, we had to use space heaters in the bedrooms and keep the fire going in the fireplace in the living room. Still, there was a certain feeling of coziness and nostalgia to that first evening spent with my dear grandparents.