Sim­ply chang­ing fil­ters is a cool way to take the heat off

The Advance of Bucks County - - OPINION -

One day I was sit­ting com­fort­ably in the liv­ing room read­ing or writ­ing or lis­ten­ing to records — mostly not pay­ing at­ten­tion to what was go­ing on around me — when The Blonde Ac­coun­tant came dash­ing into the din­ing room and straight to­ward the ther­mo­stat.

“It’s burn­ing up in here,” she said. “Some­thing is wrong with the DLr conGLWLoner. When wDs Whe ODsW WLme you chDngeG Whe fiOWer?” Now, I didn’t hap­pen to be burn­ing up at the time. I am usu­ally the op­po­site of what­ever she is feel­ing at the mo­ment. But if she says it’s hot in the house, then it’s hot in the house and I snap to what­ever it is she wants me to do to make it bet­ter — take out the trash, pull weeds in the front flower beG, chD­nge D OLghWbOub.

But that wasn’t the point of the ex­change that made me tilt my head to the side a bit. It wDs Whe SDrW DbouW Whe fiOWer. 0y firsW reDcWLon wDs, “The DLr conGLWLoner hDs D fiOWer? AnG LW neeGs Wo be chDngeG?” Here, OeW me WDNe ouW the trash, maybe that will help cool things down in the house.

ThDW WhoughW ODsWeG onOy D fleeWLng mo­menW, though. I al­ready knew that the air con­di­tioner hDG D fiOWer becDuse , hDG chDngeG LW sev­erDO times over the years.

What struck me, though, was that I never think about things like that and I con­tinue to be com­pletely clue­less when it comes to the reg­u­lar and sim­ple home main­te­nance is­sues that we all face on a daily ba­sis.

So , WruGgeG Gown Wo Whe bDse­menW — , cDn sWLOO finG Whe bDse­ment ev­ery once in a while — found the fur­nace (a great big met­alOooNLng WhLng) DnG OocDWeG Whe DreD where Whe fiOWer resLGeG. ASSDrently, I had enough fore­sight the last time I was in the fur­nace room Wo DcWuDOOy hDve SODceG D cOeDn IurnDce fiOWer uS DgDLnsW Whe wDOO, right next to the area where I would need it when the time was right.

Then , Ior­goW DbouW LW Ior sLx or seven yeDrs. 0Dybe LW wDs onOy a six or seven months, I don’t know. The point is, I for­got about Whe fiOWer, whDW Wo Go wLWh Whe fiOWer, how oIWen Wo chD­nge Whe fiOWer, Whe GLIIer­ence beWween D IurnDce fiOWer DnG D coIIee fiOWer . . . SreWWy much ev­ery­thing about it.

NoW surSrLsLngOy, when , SuOOeG ouW Whe oOG fiOWer, LW OooNeG OLNe LW had been for­got­ten about for six or seven years. To my un­trained eye, it cer­tainly looked like there was enough gunk — I be­lieve WhDW’s Whe Wech­nLcDO IurnDce Werm — on Whe fiOWer Wo mDNe The BOonGe Ac­counWDnW hoW DrounG Whe coOODr one floor Dbove.

So I switched it out with­out in­ci­dent and promptly for­got about the whole thing.

Later on that af­ter­noon I ven­tured on to the back deck be­cause it was Open­ing Grill Day. I am a lit­tle more fa­mil­iar with the back deck than I am the base­ment be­cause the big me­tal thing on the back deck is a grill and not a fur­nace.

HDvLng noW seen Whe grLOO sLnce ODsW IDOO — , cover LW GurLng Whe wLnWer DnG IorgeW DbouW LW — DnG wLWh Whe IurnDce fiDsco DO­mosW Iresh Ln my mLnG, my firsW WhoughW wDs: Do , neeG Wo chD­nge Whe fiOWer on Whe grLOO?

WeOO, WhDW wDs sLOOy, DnG , cDn neLWher con­firm nor Geny WhDW Whe ice-cold adult bev­er­age that I had in my hand at the time put any silly ideas into my head. But just in case, I opened up the doors unGerneDWh Whe grLOO DnG wDs reOLeveG Wo finG WhDW LW LnGeeG GLG noW DSSeDr Wo hDve D fiOWer WhDW neeGeG Wo be chDngeG.

What is did have, though, was a propane tank, and ev­ery so of­ten — maybe six or seven years — that thing needs to be changed as well. At least that’s what I’m told.

To her credit, though, The Blonde Ac­coun­tant doesn’t al­low me neDr fire or shDrS bDr­be­cuLng LmSOe­menWs very oIWen, DnG , IounG that last sea­son’s propane tank still had some life left in it.

But the grill did need a good clean­ing, so I got out the 409 and some pa­per tow­els and gave it the once over. As I stood back ex­am­in­ing my hand­i­work, The Blonde Ac­coun­tant came out back and said, “Oh, that grill needs to be cleaned.”

, Lm­meGLDWeOy wenW Gown­sWDLrs DnG chDngeG ouW Whe IurnDce fiOWer DgDLn, WooN ouW Whe WrDsh, SuOOeG D Iew weeGs Ln Whe IronW flower­beG and changed three light­bulbs — whether they needed it or not. And then I cleaned the grill again, all while think­ing that maybe I’ll get a self-clean­ing grill the next time just so I don’t have to change so mDny fiOWers DnG OLghWbuObs.

A man has got to know his lim­i­ta­tions, and I try to know mine — that’s why plumb­ing is the next home is­sue that I’ll be happy to for­get about. , wonGer LI LW reTuLres Dny fiOWers? Mike Morsch is ex­ec­u­tive edi­tor of Mont­gomery Me­dia and author of the book, “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life.” He can be reached by call­ing 215-542-0200, ext. 415

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