Connection: A Personal Story

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Yesterday wasn’t the best day in my life.

But, an amazing thing happened last night, and I want to share this with you. Because what started out as a moment, where I simply planned to use a social media platform to scream into the wind, reminded me of its value in a very personal way.

Let’s start the day around 4:00 p.m. I had come home from work, ready to jump into my parenting responsibility role after a day at work. My husband was running out the door to his job and I was just feeling just a little alone. Not that this is a big deal, but it set the stage for my growing crankiness.

I got my daily blogs done and my fingers were freezing. We have a new furnace and honestly, I had not figured out how to program it yet. So, I decided that before we left the house for our evening karate class, I’d set the temperature to 75 degrees so it would be toasty on our return.

Bundled up the kids in the hats, coats, scarves and gloves because it was only about 20 degrees outside and we jumped out to our truck which was frozen solid. I was unable to turn any locks. So, back in the house to call a friend and dig out some lighters to warm the lock. I finally unjammed the lock & felt like “supermom” as the kids were pretty upset at the thought of missing their class.

Upon returning from karate class, the house had dropped 5 degrees from 61 to 56 degrees. Hmmm….not good, I thought. I made dinner and then began reading the manual and pushing buttons to no avail. Override, reprogram, nothing seemed to work.

So, I grabbed all the down blankets, dressed the kids in their warmest pajamas and put on our Tinkerbell movie. They were happy. I was not, but I felt helpless and began tweeting….

You would think I could program my new furnace…so far the house temp has gone down 5 degrees to a fabulous 56 degrees.

Within just a couple of minutes, one of my friends tweeted back to me and within just a few hours, over 19 people got engaged in the conversation. While most of my friends offered moral support, one actually offered his expertise, texted a mutual friend of ours to get my phone number, and called me. He walked me through a few different tests to determine potential causes for the problem and suggested that I call a technician based on not reaching success with our various attempts.

I was able to call the furnace company and get on their waiting list for assistance last night. Something I would likely have waited until today to do, not even considering the company might answer their phone after hours.

Shortly after this conversation, a number of friends offered to let us stay at their houses. By this time, the kids were sleeping and we were all cuddling under the warm down comforters which was not too bad. Overnight, the temperatures reached a low of 42 degrees. I was able to see my breath when I woke up this morning.

Then today, another friend contacted us and offered her large space heater which warms an area of 800 square feet. Before 9 a.m., she arrived to our house with the heater in tow. Meanwhile, more friends were offering to let us visit their warm houses throughout the day for coffee or tea.

The furnace was inspected today and apparently has completely frozen. The line to the furnace will need to be cut & drained after it thaws out and so we sit with shop lights working hard to unfreeze the pipes. And an overnight forecast of 17 degrees.

As I write this, we’re still cold but the house has reached a balmy 56 degrees which might be our high temperature of the day. And while we haven’t yet had the furnace restarted, we are blessed by the generosity of friends who stepped saw my little Twitter vent and connected.
And all because I was cranky.

Thanks to everyone who sent a positive tweet my way….you lifted my spirits and turned a lemon situation into actual lemonade. This Thanksgiving Eve, I am thankful for Twitter and for the amazing friends & folks I have met there. You bless me more regularly than I deserve.

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One comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this Cheryl. Glad that it worked out and that we could help make a bad situation tolerable. And I agree – very thankful for all of my new twitter friends.

    Here’s another good example of twitter community goodness. Last night while we were all talking about your heating dilemma, I was also scanning #pdxtst for ways to help. I noticed an RT by @211info and @goodinpdx about the need for blankets and other items for their emergency shelter operation tonight. So I emailed our ORVOAD members and asked if anyone could help.

    First thing in the morning I had an email from Sam Pellecer of Adventist Community Services. He said they had blankets available and how many did they need?

    After a couple more calls Union Gospel Mission got the blankets that they needed. (Not sure if they got the full thousand, but I know Sam said he had a lot.)

    So there’s an example of two people in Portland passing on a tweet which was then read by a third person in Astoria (me) who then contacted ORVOAD to get the need met! Pretty cool, huh?

    Anyway, happy Thanksgiving Cheryl, family and my other new twitter friends. Happy and thankful to know you. @sct_r

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