Wednesday, November 27, 2013


We've known from the time we first saw our house that we'd likely make some significant changes to it, but have also acknowledged that if none of those changes happen we could live here happily with just a few mechanical updates.The usual stuff you'd expect to see in a 50 year old house, like the hot water heater or A/C unit, although we've experienced no worry over the buttercup yellow kitchen appliances.  They're General Electric all, with old-fashioned mechanical controls meant to last forever.

We bought the house from the estate of the couple who built it. It says something about their taste and the quality of what they built that the overall effect reads as less cheesy and more stage set (more than one person has suggested I could donate, say, the kitchen to the Smithsonian). Despite my hope to install something a bit more me, I'd have no problem using this kitchen into the future. It's not given us much trouble and, assuming parts are available when needed, there's no reason it won't continue to work well beyond my need of it.

Almost no reason. Last week I was up late and the house was very quiet. I noticed a distinct hum that seemed to originate in the wall between the ovens and the family room. I didn't think too much of it, because that same wall houses most of our electric entertainment devices, but noted it and went to bed. The next night neither oven would preheat above 150 degrees or so. Strange.

The kids and I were leaving town just a couple hours before my husband was arriving home so I jotted him a short note and went on my way. There was a hum the other night and now the ovens won't work. Not sure what's up - can you check it out? Prob. nothing. He would be gone again before we came back home so I hoped it was nothing, anyway, because I desolate without the ability to toast a slice of pumpkin bread in the mornings.

Turns out he had to remove the entire unit to discover that a certain wire looked as if it had been incorrectly installed nearly 50 years ago and had just last week finally broke completely. The hum I heard had been electricity arcing between the two ends inside the wall. Had I not heard it, hadn't tried to cook something, or not thought to ask him to look into it, well, I really just don't want think about it. The odds are slim that he'd have tried to use the oven while here on his own and then by the time I returned he'd be gone again and...let's just file this one under "feeling lucky".  Let's cross-reference a note to self, too:  OMG, call the architect STAT. 


Becky said...

Wow, that is lucky! I'm impressed that you were on top of it once you noticed and that he was handy enough to figure out what was up. I fear my husband would have been like, Hmmm, that's weird. It will probably fix itself.


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