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  • Writer's pictureKathi

Family Vacation and a Furnace

You may wonder what a vacation and a furnace have in common. First off, I'll tell you; it's money. They both cost more than you want to spend. But they are also both totally worth it.

Last year now, 2023, Mr. Dugal decided we should take a trip to Kentucky. What might be of interest in Kentucky, you ask? Especially to a wood turning, furniture making, sawyer?? Well, just the largest timber frame structure in the country! That's right, the Ark Encounter. You haven't heard of it?? Check it out! It's a life size replica of the biblical ark that Noah would have built. And yes, all the animal kinds would have fit in it, but I'm not here to convince you. You'll have to look into that yourself.

There was also a Conference taking place at the Ark for small business owners and followers of the Fight, Laugh, Feast podcast, of which my husband is one. This conference was taking place in October, and so we planned our trip to coincide.

And here is my shameless plug for an amazing organization called a Candle in the Window. It's a network of Christian folks willing to extend hospitality to other Christian folks for a dinner or overnight stay. How else was I going to get the 7 of us to Kentucky and back without completely breaking the bank? We stayed with 5 different families and made some lovely friends along the way. We had as much fun meeting these beautiful people as we did at the Ark and the conference.

On the way home we also got to visit my nephew and his family, as well as stop at Niagara Falls.

How about that furnace? Well, we thought we'd save a few bucks by shutting the furnace off while we were away. Why heat an empty house and keep water hot for nobody for two weeks, right? Oi! Upon our return, the floor of the utility room was found to be flooded with water. Apparently there's a risk of the cast block cracking along the seams and spilling all the water out. And ours did. After furnace guy #1 came and charged an arm and a leg to tell us our furnace would never work again, we decided we should maybe shop around for a new boiler. I was corrected. It was our boiler that kicked the bucket. I don't know the difference, but apparently there is one.

Ok, so now we're looking for a "good deal" on a new boiler at the end of October. You know, like no one else is trying to get their heating systems up and running this time of year, in Maine. Throw a national news breaking shooting in the timeline mix and we were out of hot water for 6, almost 7 weeks. That's right. One week into our search for the right boiler, we had a manhunt going on in our back yard. Quite literally. That was an exciting, but very sad time.

Praise the Lord the weather wasn't super cold through all of November. By the time we got enough quotes back on boilers, we made our decision and went with a little more pricey option, but feel confident this boiler is worth the wait. (It's called a Buderus) The box alone was top quality. Three layers of cardboard thick. It made an amazingly strong play house.

After all that; traveling to Kentucky, meeting lots of wonderful new friends, seeing some amazing sights, living without hot water for nearly 2 months, sheltering in place during a man-hunt, finally getting a new boiler, we landed on Thanksgiving with so very much to be thankful for.

I know we're all past Thanksgiving now, but I can't not give thanks, even still, for how God carried us through it all these past couple of months. We truly are blessed to have these things we so often take for granted. Freedom to travel at will. So many amazing, like-minded friends. Hot water. Life in Christ without fear of death. A home. Our family.

Being thankful for these things doesn't mean we don't struggle and go through hard times. It just means that when we recognize Christ as Lord, it brings a comfort and peace to our lives that makes all the difficulties more bearable.

I couldn't resist sharing a snippet of the goings on here the last few months. It may have seemed quiet on the socials, but that's just because so much life was happening in the background!

Keep your eye out for a sneak peek of what's going on right now, plus some upcoming plans for this new year.

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