Sunday, December 20, 2009

Naomi & Custodio to the Rescue

It’s not very often that an innkeeper is glad to have no bookings and yet that was how I felt yesterday after the Seagull Cottage furnace conked out before the snowstorm. It was working fine when I turned it up. The temperature rose quickly to 55 but then stalled. What was going on? I turned off the heat, turned it back on. I called Sears, because we have a warranty. The clerk, who took my call, was gracious but did not send a repairman. Why? Sears has decided sending repairmen to the Outer Cape is not cost-effective. They don’t mind selling you a maintenance agreement, but when you need a serviceman, forget it.

I had already received a letter enabling me to get a maintenance check from a local plumber but had not succeeded in having this work done. Why? Locating a local plumber, who does heating, is not easy. I phoned our regular plumber. Nope, no heating work. I went down to town hall. Steve Pechonis, the charming plumbing inspector, suggested contacting our propane company. I called Days & Sons in Provincetown and was told someone would return the call. Fast forward to yesterday morning AFTER realizing the problem. I called Days again and again, but got a busy signal each time. Off I went to the library to send a fax. The fax number was busy, too. So, Naomi came to my rescue, grabbing the phone book. Her voice always sounds so very calm and efficient, as if she were auditioning for Meryl Streep’s assistant in a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada: “Did you know they list a number to call if the other two don’t work?” With a wink, Naomi placed the call for me. The second time she tried a lady answered, from her home. Must have been the boss's wife. She said she’d have Custodio call me.

Custodio came and figured out what’s wrong: the burners are kaput, less than ten years old but BROKEN, and, don’t get me started on built-in obsolescence. Custodio didn’t have Kenmore burners on his truck. But he managed to get our furnace going. Let’s hope it stays on until Monday, when I can reach the repair department at Sears ...

Overnight the snow started coming down. The wind was howling, and now, at 8 AM, Welllfeet has blizzard conditions, with eight to ten inches already on the ground. Snow covers the screens. I have to get dressed, fight my way through the snow, and check whether the heat stayed on all night in Seagull Cottage. Look how beautiful it looked during our last major snowstorm, once the sky had turned blue!

The Cape Cod Modern House Trust was having an open house this afternoon at K/G, up Long Pond Road. There was supposed to be parking at Cahoon Hollow and a shuttle bus. I just checked with Peter and the tour has been canceled due to the weather. Here's his blog for more information. I doubt the town plows will do Old King's Highway by evening, so we are officially snowed in. It's exciting to experience a blizzard ...

I'm back from my cottage check and the heat's on. Way to go, Custodio! Here's another photo for Amy, from today this time.